In looking at how you get your books seen, when you aren't part of a major publishing network, the emphasis is on finding networks. Mostly this appears to mean joining into groups and there are a lot of them out there. You join, get others to support your work (or buy it) and hence get the sales you need to become visible to the broader population of readers.
It is very logical because a tiny drop of water is nothing. Put it together with others and you have something. A writer alone has less power than one in a group etc. etc.
That all sounds good but then arises the question of how you do it and what is the actual cost-- emotionally and physically. Suppose you are part of a group for your type of book, say science fiction, you visit the site, spend time chatting, encouraging others about their books, discussing sales, making friendships, and hence upping your own visibility in that world-- how many hours a day will that take? If you get them to buy your book, do you then buy theirs and how does that average out for you all?
Besides finding those who write and support your kind of writing, there is another type of group. It's when the writers all agree to write in a certain region, a certain length of book, around a certain topic. It becomes like a small Harlequin for romance novels. You lose some control over your work, but you have more than you out there promoting it.
Networking is a big part of selling anything; and, of course, it's logical writers who are 'going it alone' would look for a way to not go it alone. I can see the value of it and maybe if I hadn't gotten into chatting when I first came to the web, maybe I'd be more willing to do this. As it stands, I am not because to think about putting in chat time just to get books sold (even if with nice people), it makes my teeth hurt. That's always a sign to me that it's not a good idea.
I am not sure I could do such groups even if I wanted. My books don't exactly fit category writing. Maybe the historical romances would but they don't seem like it when I look at what is currently out there. My contemporaries are all based in a geographic region-- the American west of today; but they don't have a common theme other than the love story. It's possible that even if I wanted to try to join such a group, I'd be out of luck.
However, I write this blog for more than me; so for writers who may be looking to put out their books, I can see value (especially if you weren't burned out on chatting years ago) in trying to find groups of those already doing the kind of thing you plan to publish. It could be informative for the pitfalls, but might also help you get the likes and reviews that so many readers rely on to decide on a book for themselves.
Amazon's Meet Our Authors forum is one place to begin to find those writing what you write. Go there, check out the threads, click on the names of those commenting, and you might find groups other places. Another possible place for such networking is GoodReads. They are two places I do go and have established a kind of sort of bit of a presence. I haven't yet done though what might help me get those 'reviews and likes' there and maybe won't... although if thinking about doing it ever doesn't lead to my teeth hurting, maybe I will :)
I created a new cover for another of my books. One that I hadn't intended to do at all but my publisher (Farm Boss also referred to as husband) said the one I had wasn't working as well as the others. I had asked him to look at them for just such a thing-- but that cover? I loved that cover. Very arty... Then I remembered some of my recent waterfall photos, and I began to think how a change might work better than I was imagining. More on that next blog.