It's true. When it comes to marketing, I have no idea. In fact, people a LOT smarter than me (and believe me, there are many) have trouble with marketing - a point that never ceases to frustrate me.
There is no magic wand, dammit! I hoped there was - but there isn't. And with today's technology, social networks, etc. - it changes every day - kind of like the staircases at Hogwarts.
At the end of December, I left the day job to write full-time. Since then, I've written 9 pages. That's right, one chapter. Why? Because I've spent all my time on MARKETING. I've taken webinars on Twitter and Facebook. I've worked on Goodreads, banners, book covers and networked with hundreds of writers. I put my box set on sale for $1.99 - which worked at first, but the sales have plateaued at the 3000 rankings.
So, I've looked into paid ads, and will be experimenting with those later this month. The sale has been mentioned on websites that cater to more than one million e-readers - with little impact. It's all hit or miss, I think. I have friends who've hit the lists with this tactic - without spending a dime on ads. Others have bought all the ads they can and sell very little.
The reason I'm doing this - and I'm so grateful that I'm able to experiment with price - is to reach new readers. My books are starting to gain a foothold in the UK and Australia (can you say FABULOUS BOOK TOUR?) - which I think is a good market for me because I write humor. I'd never do well in France - I'm not Jerry Lewis-y enough.
The other goal I'm trying to accomplish is to break into the Kobo and Nook markets more. I do okay with Apple and Amazon has been phenomenal. But people have different e-readers or tablets, so I want to hit those markets too.
I'm giving myself till the end of February before raising the price back up to $9.99 - a price where it did well - just not spectacularly well. I'll let you know how it goes.
It's a great, strange, confusing and wonderful time to be an author. I'm embracing it wholeheartedly.
I just wish I had more time to write. Sigh.