The other half is marketing your book. You have to sell yourself and your product. Connect with bookstores and book clubs, join each and every organization that will have you as a member and every on-line community you can.
You have to sell yourself. Get friends to help, if you have friends. If you don’t, make some. This is not something you can do all by your little ol’ self.
Marketing your book isn’t that easy, but if you can sell yourself, you have a foot in the door when it comes to selling your product. Don’t just walk into a bookstore in ratty shorts and flip-flips and ask the owner pretty please to sell your book for you. Sometimes the naive approach will actually work, but it’s hardly professional, and you might find yourself on the short end of the profit-making stick vis-a-vis that bookstore owner.
Which is a strong indication that you haven’t done a very good job of selling yourself. People in business don’t like to work with amateurs. Do research about the bookstores in every area where you hope to sell your product. Know in advance which bookstores will carry ‘local authors’, and verify what types of work they will accept. Not every bookstore is willing to carry stories about elves battling demons from Mars. Find out in advance what sort of split the owner prefers. Do they purchase copies up front( few will do that, especially on the first few orders) or will they only accept books on consignment, with a 60/40 split at an agreed selling price?. They like to think they can rely on you just as you rely on them.
Once you have a bookstore targeted for an approach, call and make an appointment with the store owner. Introduce yourself over the phone. Be pleasant and courteous. Ask for the opportunity to meet with him or her to discuss the possibility of carrying your work. Don’t go in empty handed. Bring a demo copy the owner can read. Put together a promo pack for your book.
Most people who put in six months or a year or two years writing and editing a novel are not in it for the fun of it. They do all of that research and writing and rewriting for a profit (however small, a profit is still a profit). If you’ve done that much to build your future, don’t let yourself down by behaving as an amateur when you start the marketing phase.