I'm reading all this pessimism, which annoys me. I'm not a huge success. Not yet at least. I've sold 500 copies of my books. I've 0only utilized the freebie system. I'm guessing I'd have sold a quarter of that if I hadn't, but, who knows. I know the algorithms are changing, things are going to be more difficult, and, if you want to be successful as a self-published writer, you're going to have to two major things.
1. You're going to need to write a lot and brand your name. Write stories, write novels, write novelettes and novellas (build your name and get a lot of books out that are great quality and that unfortunately must be great in quantity).
2. Market your books everywhere. Press-releases, articles, blogs, and website features. Build your own website. Manage your own blog. Create a lot of content for free.
I'm optimistic. I think 2013 is going to be the year that I'm going to take the leap from hundreds of books sold to 10s of thousands. Why? Not because I'm going to get lucky, but, because I'm going to rewrite all the old novels I wrote and release them, I'm going to brand pen names as well and produce all the fiction that I can. I'm also going to release a series of non-fiction books as well. I'm going to write shorts, I'm going to write sourcebooks, I'm going to publish full novels, novellas, and novelettes. I'm going to perfect them, write them again and again, until they're perfect. Then, I'm going to release press-releases, contact blogs, use goodreads and librarythings, I'm going to hire people to make booktrailers, I'm going to hire help to contact reviewers who might be interested in my books and solicit reviews, I'm going to keep an up to date blog (on all blogs I'm writing), and I'm going to be doing all of these things every week--not to mention, writing, writing, and writing some more.
Writing has been my life since I was 14, nearly 11 years, more than 16 novels written, thousands of stories poems and non-fiction work. This is going to be a great year. I don't care the hurdles, this is my dream, I see it clearly now, and I see the door. If it's locked, I'm going to kick it open, or find something to tear it down. I'll make this year good. Remember, "We do not have greatness in our lives, we create it, often through struggle, sweat, and inhuman determination that everyone will eventually just call luck to excuse why they themselves haven't done it."