Tell everybody you know that you are an illustrator. This will help build you a small unit of people who can help you build your portfolio and get the word out for you. Think locally just as much as nationally, at least in you first six months.
Cedric trumpets these books over and over, but for a good reason... they're a great help when doing pricing and getting the word out. The Ethical Guidelines book alone paid for itself five times over on a single contract last year.