I've been writing and illustrating books for about 30 years. I've published with several huge houses and one very dedicated independent. I've been on the NYT Bestseller list and sold over 3 million books. So who does most of my promotion and marketing? I do. The publishers expect it. They don't have the staff to support any but the huge bestsellers. I'd say that at least 80% of my time and energy go into promotion, leaving very little time to actually write and illustrate. So don't be fooled into thinking that a contract from a major publisher guarantees that you'll get marketing support. More than likely, you won't.
I'm a published author/illustrator with 26 books, several of them quite successful. I actually earn my entire living doing this. But the biggest physical store I know of stocks only TWO of my books. No, I'm sorry, but physical stores are not the answer.
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