Wrote my first book about 2 years ago - it was a bit of a specialist topic ( see http://www.gazlannathai.com/Book-Store/WKK.htm
Did everything myself from start to finish, in a foreign country whose language I speak poorly and connot read or write, and untook all distribution myself. Found a good plate maker and an excellent printer through recommendation by another expat journalist - best piece of help ever received that was. :wink:
I have it in a dozen book stores locally and one national chain, it's been reviewed in both local and national media, and of the original print run of 1,000 I've sold about half - about 10% of them using avenues like online auction sites.
All book stores except one wanted consignment terms, but the national chain took 90-day invoicing (hooray) and have been the best payers of the lot (yeehaa).
OK, so after 2 years I'm still sitting on copies that need seriously updated, but they're still selling. Networking with other expat self-publishers has been invaluable as we were able to swap books and distribute for each other in non local areas - one of them got my book into over a dozen outlets including museums and restaurants on interstate highways. Exchanging like that increases the "portfolio" of books we can offer and makes appear more acceptable to book stores.