You're new in the writing business. Or not new so much as being, worse yet, unknown. You decide to self publish and go via the epub route. Bigger audience. Better potential in keeping your work out on the market for longer periods of time. Maybe eventually a bigger payday all away around.
You've read all the accounts of how other writers have done this and the successes they've had. Not forgetting they are/were a known product . . . and you're an unknown product . . . the decision has been made. Screw tradtional publishing. On to that bright, undiscovered country!
And then stark reality slaps you in the face. How do you become known? Why would anyone want to buy your works over, say, ten million other scribes? What do you do to separate you from the growing crowd of other struggling writers?
Got any ideas?
Not sure I can add much to this conversation, since I just self-published my first novel and I'm ... way down there looking up at the mountain top. The only thing that makes sense to me is to spend time doing what I can control. I have no control over whether luck rears its fickled head.
Things I can get my hands on: (1) Concentrate on perfecting the craft. (2) Learn ways to connect with other readers. (3) Try to keep up with changing technology. (4) Connect with other great writers like yourselves.
The list seems to grow each daily. Who knows whether this will all pay off in the long run, but we won't know unless we try. I enjoy writing--this is one thing I hope does not get lost on this journey.
It was I.J. who told me two years ago to forget about making a name for myself. Go home and study the craft and write the best damn book you can possibly write. I choked on it a while, but I decided she was right.
That's my plan now. I just finished the best damn book I ever wrote. I think that's all I can do.
Two years and a couple of thousand books was all I could take. Good luck!
As Stephen said, marketing, marketing, marketing.
I'll offer some tips/thoughts/direction. At least, in general terms, this is what I'd do. I'll do it from the angle of someone having to do most of the work himself or herself.
Make sure you use your social media. You can link to your stories, link to free stories on your website, link to interesting reviews or short stories you liked written by colleagues of yours, short pieces of writing advice, etc. You have to find a right balance. Use it too much, and you're followers/friends/likes will tune you out. Don't use it enough and they'll forget you.
Conferences comes to everyone's mind (and don't forget to send a press release if you are a speaker/on a panel at a conference!), but there is more. Book clubs, writing clubs, Rotary/Kiwanis/Lions - all sorts of groups are constantly looking for interesting guest speakers. Don't forget creative writing classes at high schools, colleges, and community education facilities.
Create your own content
A few little tidbits
Finally, make sure to set a budget - for time and money. And as the owner of a newspaper company - the man who gave me my first job as a publisher - said to me: "Plan your work, and work your plan."