She also has five ideas for moving out of your illustrator comfort zone: http://wendymartinillustration.com/wordpress/2014/01/14/portfolio-builder-jump-your-comfort-zone/ . Commit yourself to quarterly promotional mailings. Enter illustration competitions. Do some guest blogging. Prepare a portfolio for a market outside children's books. Have a go at sharing your passion through teaching.
Here is a useful list of things independent authors can do to increase their chances of success, together with reasons why they can make such difference: http://www.richardstephenson.net/?p=85 . The bullet points are: recognize the monetary limits of your genre; hire an editor; use proof readers; get a professional book cover; begin by going exclusively with Amazon and KDP Select; use social media; master the art of advertising; interact with your readers; when you receive praise, ask for a review; and advertise your other works at the end of your book.
Some take-home quotes from Richard Stephenson's article are:
"In terms of paid advertising, my primary piece of advice is to never gamble what you can’t afford to lose because there is no guarantee that you will get it back."
and " Get your name out there whenever you can. It might seem like a complete waste of time that gives nothing in return at first, but plant those seeds early on and they will bear fruit in the future."