I have spent a couple of evenings AFK mining (flying to an asteroid belt - start mining and go to bed) - and I did do most of the initial tutorial missions (before they timed out on me), but the rest is pure trading.
As an excuse, I also have very disjointed game time at the moment. Friday nights I spend WoW raiding. Real life is distracting. But these are excuses; I have not achieved what I set out to.
What has worked :
- Buy orders on the starter rewards, with buy orders covering where the mission rewards are given. There is a list of starter rewards and where starter capsuleer mission locations at http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Tutorial_and_Career_Agents_in_Eve and other websites.
- Sell the skill books
- Resell items used in tutorials
- Reprocessing (recycling) the rest
- Buy orders for Veldspar; setting the buy order as wide as I can.
- Market sell orders for Veldspar; at first I scattered my selling; and found some systems that worked really well. Now, I just look for systems with high buy orders, and systems that need Veldspar for starer ore.
- Expecting to be able to sell all things in every system. This isn't WoW with a single linked auction house per faction; but a series of Markets - visible to each other within the same region; but not even visible outside of that region. Some out of the way market that has no skill-books in it probably also has no buyers for over market skill-books either.
- Being dis-organised. In WoW, I can be slack; I know my markets and how they move. Not so in Eve.
- Tying up all your resources with non-productive auctions. This includes both ISK and a very limited number of auctions.