Alan Baxter writes a great post on self-publishing, talking about his hybrid approach (to which I subscribe). I like his tips, too:
The point is, selling short or long fiction can do wonders for your self-publishing. So how do you do it? The trick is to aim high and then lower your expectations until you make a sale. Hopefully, those expectations will be progressively lowered less and less as you improve as a writer. Here’s the basic method:
- Write. Write loads of stuff, and get honest people to give honest critiques. Listen to those people and take their advice. Get better at writing.
- Read. Read loads of stuff, which will make you a better writer. As Stephen King said, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Simple as that.” And that fella knows what he’s talking about.
- Keep submitting your work out there. Aim first for the highest level pro-paying magazines and anthologies, or the best agents and publishers. When they reject you (which they will) submit again somewhere else. When you run out of top shelf markets, aim for some less stellar ones. Keep submitting until someone buys your work. Never pay to have your work published by someone else.
- Meanwhile, go to step 1.
Read the rest of it here: http://www.emergingwritersfestival.org.au/2012/10/selling-fiction-vs-self-publishing/