If you don't know him, Christopher Titus is a comedian. He had a show on Fox for a few seasons a while back and still has a successful career as a stand-up comedian. Of all his jokes and routines, though, one rings out to me.
"I don't fail. I succeed at finding what doesn't work."
Or, to put it another way, there are no failed experiments, only more data.
So what I've been struggling with is selling my books. The writer Peter Clines was fond of saying (and please forgive me if I'm mangling his words) that writing is the art of making a book, and publishing is the business of selling as many copies of that art as possible. I've gotten several awards for my writing, so I feel I have a handle on that. Not saying there isn't room to improve, just that I have a firm grasp on the writing aspect. What I'm struggling with is the selling part.
So I'm trying different things. I'm going to conventions. Comic Con worked very well for us. LA Festival of Books, not so much. Miami Book Fair was good, but not enough to warrant the cross-country drive. Next week we'll be trying Monsterpalooza. We're making new merch and creating new deals, all to build our brand and business. Will it work? I don't know, but if it doesn't, it doesn't mean I failed.
It just means I found something else that didn't work.