Now that things are under way and two books are out there (I really should figure out what to call them, since at around 10K words they're hardly novels, but novella sounds too romantic and novelette is no longer in use. Anyway...) I've had some time to reflect on the process and here's what I have so far.
1. Self-publishing on Amazon is easy as hell, but it's also easy to really mess it all up. Once you hit "Publish" on this thing it's out there, warts and all. I've never been so paranoid to hit a button before, and I'm still waiting for the message from someone saying something like, "On page 27 you wrote 'teh' instead of 'the'" which will send me into a shame spiral the likes of which has never been seen before.
2. This is not, nor will it ever be, a money-making enterprise. Right now I've priced my two novellinos (novish? novite?) at 99 cents because I wanted it to move and get out there. I knew if I was going to be telling my friends that there was a story out there to buy, I had to make it a price point that would appeal to everyone. The way Amazon works is that you get 35% of the take on items priced under $2.99, so I'm essentially getting 35 cents on the dollar. It will take a while for that to add up.
3. Once you publish, getting people to buy it is an even trickier enterprise. Sure, I told everybody on Facebook. Then I posted about it on Instagram. Then I shouted about it on the Twitter account I created for the Thor Bozman persona, and tied into it on my regular Twitter account. With all of that shouting, I'm still not raking in the cash, nor did I expect to be. While it would seem like Twitter would be a good place to advertise, there are thousands of authors on there doing the same, and most people quickly get sick of people rambling on about their books. I don't, mind you. That's how I know what to get from people I like. But the thing is, I like them because of the content they put up outside of their book advert, so there's more to it than just saying, "Buy my stuff."
4. If you're not the sort of person that excels at selling himself, then you might want to dip into a stockpile of patience in regards to sales. I keep reloading that damn page that tells me how many copies I've sold. At the moment, it's up to 20 between the two books. Naturally, I would love it to be multiples of that. That may come, but not immediately.
5. The more you publish, the more likely you are to come up in a search. After the first book, searching "Thor Bozman" got a response saying "Showing the results from Thor Bozeman" which sat over a tiny link asking if you really wanted the results from the first search. Now, with two out there, it comes up without the confusion. Granted, a few other things come up as well, but it's progress. Maybe after the third book goes up it will get even better. Maybe.
I'm going to keep at it, and keep learning things, and in the meantime I'm still submitting stories under my actual name and hoping for publication there, too. It's nice to be completely in control of something, and it's also terrifying.