There is a metric fuckload of stuff about the business that I don't know, but I need to know, if I am going to make this writing thing pay the bills. Being all caught up in my ego, thinking I can solve it all on my own, is both stupid and wasteful. It's stupid because it's verifiable to be false, and it's wasteful because someone else already solved that problem so why reinvent the wheel?
So, in addition to talking to folks who've done this dance before directly (such as Oliver Campbell) and watching folks like Brian Niemeier, I read other authors' blogs to see what they do and how they do it. Russel Newquist did a post on the launch of Who’s Afraid of the Dark? at Amazon.
Read that shit. He ain't messing around. He tells you what he did, why he did it, and links to stuff you can use to replicate his success. This is a big deal, because it points out something a lot of people miss: Publishing success is NOT a zero sum game. On the contrary, authors helping other authors to succeed has a synergistic effect over the long term. (If it didn't, traditional publishing and retail booksellers wouldn't try to use one successful author to build up an audience for a newer one with similar material.)
I love this sort of post. I appreciate greatly that people who did what I'm doing and succeeded are willing and able to share what they learned, knowing that it can't hurt them and can only help them. The business of publishing is already bothersome enough; not taking the opportunity to get good help from your peers when they offer it is a massive mistake. I'm taking it, and so should you.