One of the most interesting, and one of the most frustrating things in the world is marketing. With ebooks becoming more and more popular, the publishing industry has opened up to a more democratic process. Gone are the Media Kings (although they are still around), the self-appointed gate keepers of all things litterary.
"The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all." Mark Twain.
Expose yourself (your work) to the people and let them decide as to its entertainment worth.
So, with places like Smashwords and Amazon, the power is in the hands of the writer, but because of accessibility there is a flood of material, and unless you have a way of catching someones attention, your work, even though it's brilliant, could join the sediments at the bottom of the sea of unread words.
What is marketing? (I don't really have the answer: that's why I'm asking the question)
If I was to make a speculative guess, I would say that marketing is a wagon that passes through town, upon which everyone jumps, whether the wagon is a dilapidated piece of work or a shining example of prose.
Have you ever read a book that was a 'bestseller,' and been left feeling somewhat less for the experience?
Right now, I'm in the process of selling my material on Amazon. I've discovered the 'gift,' function. You would pay for advertisement and hope to increase sales. Why not just gift your work. It will only cost you a fraction of the true cost, because you'll still get your royalties. This accomplishes two things: you sell your book and you (hopefully) get others to read it. Presently, I'm toying with the idea of throwing a Kindle party at my local library. If you've got a Kindle come on in, give me your email and I'll gift you one of my books. If you like it maybe you'll purchase one of my other titles.
Kindle Party, anyone?