Online Marketing Symposium

What are the secrets of successful books?  There are so many talented writers out there and so many good books out there, why do some sell better than others, assuming equal talent?
These are the questions that are being addressed in this blog hop started by:
I can’t say.  My writing is my joy, my solace, my delight, and I have little time to do anything with it.  There are lots of reasons why promotions do not succeed.  In my case, I think it comes down to two factors:
1.  The exhaustion factor. 
Basically, you have to accept that you have to do something to promote your work.  But who has time to haunt Facebook and the blogosphere?  Who wants to be like the person I know of who wrote a book that I read and did not like (and did not review for that reason), who peppers the e-waves with Buy!  Buy!  Buy! messages and crows about five star reviews on Amazon?
There is hope here.  I have been looking into some writings about ways to budget time, allowing you to have a presence and at the same time have a productive run (of writing). 
2.  Shyness.  
Basically, I have a hesitation about asking for help.  I have a backlist of books that I am not afraid to put out there to be read.  But I have problems asking friends and acquaintances and followers to possibly feature them, run their covers, interview me…  Why?  Well, it comes down to the ‘what ifs’.  Some of them are historical fiction set in a rather exotic venue: ancient Egypt.  Is it so terrible that someone might cringe at the names?  Do I have the fear that someone will think I’m not a ‘real’ writer?  Maybe so – but the answer is to ASK and be ready for an answer. Did I say two reasons?  Let’s make it three – with the third being the positive one.

#3: decide to learn and try.

Self-published books have a long shelf life.  I don’t have to be a success by tomorrow.  My books are selling (admittedly,  they only pay for my car loan with a little left over, but still: people are buying them).  And I can take a deep breath and start learning.

There are a great many people out there, an amazing number of which are happy to share their knowledge and expertise.  Only a fool hesitates to ask.  (Yes, I have been a fool.)

What has helped you?  What has helped others?  Check out the other posters and find out!  (And let me know.  I want to learn…)