The second BIG THING I've discovered about Independent Publishing is that book sales don't happen on their own. You have to MARKET your book.
If you're shaking your head and thinking that I'm an idiot then give yourself a pat on the back - you're correct. I wanted my book to be read. Full stop. End of. Before uploading it to Amazon and Smashwords, I spent a lot of time printing it out and passing it around so that I could share what I hoped was a good story with people who were interested in reading it. The response was good and a few people suggested I try to get it published so I spent over a year sending it to various agents and a couple of Irish Publishers. Again the response was good - usually along the lines of 'great story, good characters, well written' but always with a 'at this time we can't take you on but wish you the best of luck in finding an agent' comment at the end. I got despondent, figured that the nicely worded letters were pretty standard and every other wannabe author was getting the same thing. :-(
The amount of money that I was spending sending out query after query (with synopsis, first few chapters, cover letter, sae etc. etc.) kept mounting up and I realised that I was getting nowhere. I needed to make a decision - keep going or try it myself. I turned forty and made a decision.
I uploaded my book to Amazon at the beginning of September 2011 and then started to learn what I SHOULD have done! Ah, well - at least I can admit that I'm an idiot who still has a lot to learn. So this year I'm going to try to learn how to effectively market my book so that I can encourage more readers to find it.
Did I just make a resolution? Damn.