How much time do you spend writing vs marketing? I would imagine it depends on what you are writing. Say you’re writing a novel, a non-fiction book or a mystery. It takes a considerable amount of time to write these. But if you’re writing short stories, it takes much less time, so you can do more ‘marketing’ (I.e. getting your stories published.)
Short stories are different from full-length manuscripts. First, you don’t need an agent. Second, the first step is to get the story published. Lastly, once you’ve completed your book, then you can start marketing it.
In the days before Internet, writers would get fan mail in the post, actual physical letters, (some still do) and they would answer those letters. There are some great pictures of Hemingway standing up at his typewriter answering his letters every afternoon.
When people would do interviews, they would go on physical tours, to bookstores, or to fairs or different venues. Charles Dickens used to go around speaking. I believe people still go on physical tours to market their book.
Try and think of how you can integrate marketing in a sustainable way for you that’s creative and also meets the goals of what you want for your writing. Do you want to sell more books? Or do you want to become famous? It’s rare for an author to be come famous. So set your goal to sell more books. (By the way, I once had a student who wanted a formula to become famous author!)
Publishers rarely market their books other than putting them on their website. So it’s up to the author to market her book. The exception is Windy City Publishers. They’re a hybrid publisher that does the marketing for you. Of course they’re rather expensive, but if you are fed up trying to publish your book the traditional way, this may be the way to go.
There are other ways to self-publish. BookBaby is one of them. BookBaby offers print, e-books or print and ebooks. Plus it’s an affordable e-book self-publisher with no sales commission, plus your book gets an ISBN number through them. There’s also Amazon who publishes your book on Kindle.
I’m sure there are other self-publishing companies. Investigate and get back to me.