If you're a self-publisher, odds are you've met, either in person or online, other self-publishers. If you haven't, you're going to come out of your introverted shell and do so. Soon.
I could easily have called this rant NETWORKING, but I used N for something else. And I wanted to emphasize that as an Author, you need other authors. Yes, cover artists, editors, proofers, and most especially, readers are important, but self-publishing is still growing. We're all still learning this new thing, and so we need to network, and share information.
Shared knowledge is the best reason to network. Other authors can tell you about places to get your book reviewed, where to advertise, where to find readers, upcoming shows and conventions.. the list is very long. More important than this, other authors can tell you what worked, or what didn't work (for them). That is simply priceless information.
Don't buy books about how to self-publish. Don't go to classes. Talk to those who have been self-publishing. Those that have been there and done that have a unique perspective none of the scammers preying on the aspiring author can ever match. Ask questions, answer questions. Be part of the community--not to make friends (that's optional) but because it's good for your business.
A lot of industries today have trade shows, where competitors get together and show off what they're doing. Indie Authors need to do the same--but without renting out huge exhibition halls and flying across country. We deal in words, not the visual, so we can network online.
Where do you find other authors? Well, if your skin's thick enough, and you don't mind a truly diverse crowd, the Number 1 place to meet other self-publishers is the Writer's Cafe--a subforum of www.Kboards,com. Authors come and go (for various reasons) but this forum is chock full of knowledge (and opinions). It's a great place to go to learn and share.
Kindle itself offers a forum as well. As does Wattpad, Librarything and of course, Goodreads. There are also Facebook groups, Pinterests... the list is really too long to go into in one posting here. Suffice it to say, Google Writer's Group and start clicking around.
But what about meeting up in person? Well, there are conventions... Despite what I said about them yesterday, you can learn a lot at conventions. For one thing, if you see an author moving books while yours begin to fossilize under the weight of all that dust covering them, take notes on how your competitor does it. What tricks do they have up their sleeves?
For the brave, when you're done watching, go over and talk. Make some contacts, exchange some emails. Most self-publishers I've met are more than happy to share knowledge with you. Who knows, maybe you'll learn about some other opportunity from that chance meeting.
Just do me one favor when you're dealing with other authors: don't try and sell them your book.