I was asked about my experience self publishing and the amount of time spent on marketing. I have used iUniverse to self publish three books. I've been very happy with the services and quality of editorial staff and marketing services. I think self-published authors had a bad rap in the beginning, as many did not utilize professional editors. That is one thing I stress for those self publishing - hire a professional editor!! I have improved my marketing plan with each book. Some things work; some don't. My books fall into the thriller/supernatural suspense/mystery genre. So, depending on what you write, there may be some variations. Lessons learned: develop a marketing plan prior to the release of your book; if you self publish and set aside a good budget for marketing activities. At a minimum, I spend 2-3 hours a day on marketing activities. The basics of my marketing plan include: 1. Knowing your target audience/reader 2. Creating a marketing campaign overview 3. Knowing what makes me an expert in what I am writing about. (I write A Ghost & A Cop Series ) I have four generations of men serving on the Des Moines Police Dept., including my son and husband. I have access to lots of real cases/stories. 4. Identify potential endorsers of my book 5. What awards or contests could I enter? 6. Goals for my website? Is it to sell books, share info, etc. 7. Develop a comprehensive book signing campaign 8. How will publicity be handled? I usually hire a publicist through iUniverse 9. What advertising will you utilize? Make sure you have a good budget for this 10. Network and utilize technology and local talent for promotion activities - For example, I hired a local film company to create a movie/book trailer of the second book. Many book trailers are static; meaning they do not utilize live actors. Personally, I wanted a book trailer that looked more like a movie trailer. As with many things in life, it is a constant learning process. I always welcome new ideas.