Writing the book is not the hardest step of being published. The hardest step is promotion and finding the support and networks needed to get your work known. There are many different forms of promotion but each one is difficult. Free forms of promotion include social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr which allows you promote as much as you would like, and for nothing. Although on Facebook there is the option of paying for your advert to appear on the side of the Facebook page to increase your awareness. Social Media has to be one of the most popular and fastest ways of gaining new readers and followers. However, they do have their limitations as people can hide posts, turn off notifications and unlike a page which means that the posts will be seen by fewer people.
There are websites out there that charge for promotion on their pages. They will host your information on their page for an x number of days and will also promote to Twitter and Facebook x amount of times a day. This is great if you have the money to promote, but a lot of small time self published authors do not have the money to undertake this kind of promotion.
Traditional promotion is also another option. Handing out leaflets to people so that they can see the information in front of them. However, people either do not pick up the leaflets or will simply through them away once they have past you. This can be expensive, especially if the information is not being read. Which is why Social Media is the best form of promotion.
But I have found that local stores, newspapers and magazines are not helping local authors. I have contacted various book stores and magazines to try and get an article or interview arranged to help promote and I have not heard anything back. And it is very frustrating that they are not willing to help out people in their own area. I think that local bookshops should be made to host days where self published authors and to help them promote.