Hi Andrew. I sent the first three chapters of my last book to all the people on my mailing list who might be interested, and asked them for feedback, and if they would want to read on. I also asked one or two members of my writers' group to read the whole book and critique it. Having self-published it on Smashwords.com. I asked the same people if they would buy a printed version. I have had two of the four novels printed and am formatting the fourth. I don't make any money out of my writing but regard it as a hobby because I enjoy doing it. Oh, I also had the second and fourth books critiqued by a member of the NZ Writers' Association. That turned out to be the encouragement I needed. It costs money but so do many other hobbies.