Self-publishing is not for everyone. It is lonely (much of the time) and hard, hard, HARD work; but it is also rewarding. Just the fact that you have written and published a book is an achievement on its own.
Most of us are part-time authors, meaning that we have day jobs to be able to eat while we write and so our time is limited, but do not fear! Time management is your friend! In the general course of the year (by this I mean not the weeks before a launch) set aside one day a week for marketing specifically and the rest of the week for writing. This way you will not become bogged down by the rabbit hole that is marketing. Use the time wisely by checking your marketing schedule to ensure you stay on course. Make adjustments to what you have planned based on what you have seen works or does not work and just keep going.
Regrettably, as Ms Giannoccaro noted, we have become a society of avid consumers and part of that is bingeing, so this makes a writer’s life even more difficult. The ‘cliff’ (the time when your readers forget about you) is now reduced to 90 days – just three months! This means that you need to write more quickly to ensure that you have a new story available so that your readers keep buying your books. I imagine this point is different for non-fiction writers in that these books are more of an evergreen nature than fiction, but you still need to be producing relevant material on a regular basis.
How do we manage the ’90 day cliff’? One way is to just keep writing but this is not really an option for someone who has a day-job, children etc. This is where your email list must work for you. Stay in touch with your fans, letting them know how your next story is progressing and when you are thinking of publishing it. Run competitions, ask your readers their opinion on something, do newsletter swops, blog tours – anything that will keep your readers interested (and only do this on the day you have reserved for marketing!).
Do not let the publishing world overwhelm you – you have friends who are in the same position. It is all in the choices you make around the demands on your time, so choose wisely.