I really couldn't say where to go from there. What I would do and you should do aren't likely to line up. Though in the general sense our goals are the same - write good books that people want to read - we're in very different places. So I might not be the best one to give you advice on your next step. Much of my knowledge of what it takes to start an indie career is probably outdated anyway.Almyrigan Hero said:Yeah, honestly, that's why I'm waiting for my KDP select enrollment to run out before I really do anything in terms of marketing. Not gonna lie: in the most classic of all rookie mistakes, I skimped. Skimped on professional editing and beta reading, didn't even know about advanced reviews, was a bit too confident in myself and my immediate group, we were all a bit too eager to get started on the publishing journey...you know the drill. That sweet, sweet rush of having just finished your first serious work, followed by the creeping slow-motion crash of wondering how finished you actually were, once it's already just a bit too late to slam on the brakes. I'm just happy the air bags popped out before I started spending, honestly.
I'm still fairly confident in the overall plot and characters, all things considered. I'm not experiencing any sort of crushing hindsight embarrassment, aside from maybe a few cases of avoidable exposition or the odd clunky line (pacing is my main worry,) and while I aimed for originality, I didn't go at it from an 'as experimental as possible' mindset. That said, if the first reviews I get are bad, at this point...where exactly do I go from there? Are major revisions several months after a book's release acceptable form, or do I just 'make the sequel better?'
If you think working with an editor exposes a few clunky lines and poor word choices you need to be prepared. It's far worse than you think. At least it is if you hire an editor who tells you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. It can be an ego crushing experience. One for which you need to develop thick skin. But it will make you a better writer. If you really want to know where you stand as it pertains to skill, solicit a few unbiased reviews from bloggers. It may take a while, but in the end you'll have a firmer grasp on the issue. There are pros like me who can tell you, but they probably won't unless you force them into a corner. It's not a thing we enjoy doing. It makes us uncomfortable. Partly because we find ourselves being as brutal with the aspiring writer as editors and reviewers are with us. It's simply how we relate. Writers can be squeamish about it when on the distributing end. All-in-all we're a nice bunch and hate to dump on the dreams of others.
addendum - I forgot to say congratulations. Regardless the outcome, writing a novel is a big thing. Even if you've reached the limit of where you go with this completing your book is an accomplishment no one can take from you.