One aspect of self-publishing that not many people mention as disadvantage is that you are largely unsheltered from the highly erratic nature of the market.
Another aspect is that many people don’t like “marketing” and wish to stop doing it as soon as they can.
Enter the “I made it” syndrome.
It looks like this:
After X number of months (or, for that matter, years) a writer achieves a level of sales that corresponds with that writer’s ideal of earnings.
Bingo! The writer has made it. For now on, sales will take care of themselves. The writer can relax and stop the annoying marketing and pull out of advertising.
Yeah–right. Remember the first line of this post?
Here are a few further truths about ebook sales:
1. The “floor” number of sales is zero. Seriously. The fact that your book has sold X number of copies last month means squat for this month’s sales.
2. You may get a sales boost from publicity events like a blog tour or a review, but this doesn’t last, especially if not followed up with new releases or further low-key involvement from your part.
Unless you start selling thousands of copies a month (and probably even then), your direct involvement will make a difference to sales. You need to maintain and herd your books. I don’t mean market them to death. I mean maintain their pages at various sales platforms, garner reviews, register with new opportunities as they open up, take part in relevant communities and make use of all the free listings you can get. You need to be on the ball.
A few good months mean nothing and is no incentive for you to count on the money, to assume that sales will always rise, or give up your dayjob. Ebook selling is a game of cliffs. Sometimes we go up, sometimes we fall down.