There was an old article Nigel Mitchell linked to on Twitter last week, but I think unlike a lot of other articles there was some good practical advice in it. Too many of these articles suggest that the author should spend hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars on covers, editing, and marketing. At least this author is smart enough to realize your average indie writer isn't flush with cash like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.
Since everyone here writes "speculative fiction" I hate to agree with the point that thrillers, mysteries, and romance are the best genres to write in--but it's true! Those are the ones that make the most money, along with YA. Sure certain sci-fi or fantasy books, or speculative stuff concerned with zombies and the like can make money, but most don't. So if you're simply trying to get into it for the money, those big three genres are where you should put your chips.
And it is good to write lots of books. It's kind of like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. You don't know which books will do well and which won't if you don't put them out there. And I guess some people like to know there's more by the author for them to buy, though as a reader that never really enters the equation unless I really like a book.
The social media point I don't really agree with. I haven't found social media to be all that useful, though I suppose it is better than nothing, which is what I can afford otherwise. Part of it is probably that like that other point I can't invest my whole day in it, nor would I want to. I do have to work a real job for money to live on yet since I'm not making $100,000 a month like Konrath. Other people have kids and spouses and all that too that means they can't be Tweeting and Facebooking and so forth all the time, or even most of it. And that is why you fail, as Yoda says.
I was intrigued about the idea of selling books myself to cut out Amazon and the like. When I was setting up my new website on Wix I got thinking about that because it has the kind of tools where I could probably do that. An advantage is that then you get 100% of the money instead of only 35-70% of it like going through an intermediary. The idea of then being able to create a customer database didn't occur to me, but that is an interesting idea.
The only problem is when YOU become the seller that means you essentially have your own business. This could lead to much greater complexity concerning taxes. In theory you'd probably have to collect sales tax, though Amazon gets around this. But you're not Amazon so you don't have that kind of market muscle. My operation is small enough that it's probably better not to worry about it, even if that means I don't find out what random lunatics buy my books.
Hopefully now you've learned something. Want to know more? Check out my author blog!