I stumbled across this blog post by Patty Jansen on Tuesday, and it got me thinking. It's titled "Why you are the biggest impediment to selling your books," and I recommend you read it. The gist is that authors may settle for poor marketing advice from their friends, or even follow their own tastes, without realizing that they're not part of their target audience and so aren't reaching them. Sometimes authors may be unwilling to experiment with their marketing techniques or be aggressive enough with their marketing. The point Patty ends up making is that you should pay attention to how successful people market their books, not how you want to be marketed to. I guess this is a new version of the Golden Rule: Don't market unto others as you want done to you.
Patty also concludes with the point that "You are not in your target group." I admit I find this line baffling. Aren't you supposed to write the books that you care about? Wouldn't that make you part of your own target audience? Or does she mean that you have to reach people with a certain set of behaviors you are unlikely to share? I imagine these are the people who not only like your book but are well-connected and are good at providing the word-of-mouth recommendations writers need. I'm still not sure what's the best way to target such people, though.
Are there certain marketing techniques you refuse to use? If so, what are they? Did you try them out before dismissing them?