Okay, my marketing has not been a model of relentless consistency this year, but the monthly check from Amazon for my three self-published books has been nice to see. The payments have always been a couple hundred dollars or more, but halfway through this month my royalties are under fifty bucks. (I can hear you now: Oh, you poor baby. Whine, whine, whine.) Mainly, this post is meant to puzzle out the reason in public so more can benefit.
These are e-books only, selling on Amazon at $2.99 with a 70 percent commission. Using their KDP Select program, Amazon Prime members borrow copies and yield a nice return to me. My marketing effort has depended mostly on Twitter, where response is typically good. I have worked hard with TweetAdder to build up my number of followers, which now is over 7,000. Then--oops--Twitter told me I was using them too aggressively and suspended my account until I promised to behave. So I scaled way back on following and unfollowing. The result was immediate. My sales plummeted, because my tweets constantly need to appear before fresh, new eyeballs. Twitter says it's okay to follow people one by one, but that's a glacial pace. Meanwhile, giveaways help a little, but of course they mainly move product for free.
Obviously, depending on one vehicle, Twitter, is a real marketing weakness. But it really does seem far and away the best means of selling large numbers of low-priced ebooks. Blogs and Facebook are good, but tend to reach the same people. That means you can't constantly pitch to them without alienating them.
What has been other people's experience? I'm happy to share more details of my own.