This fall, after three and a half years of publishing romance with various e-publishers, I self-published for the first time. It's an M/M romance short story, and reviews have been sparse and variable. (1-4 stars.)
I see other authors in various venues bemoaning the fact that their self-pubbed romances are only selling 10-15 copies *per day*. I would love to have those numbers! Since its release mid-September, my book has only sold a grand total of 38 copies over Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, and Barnes & Noble. (It isn't on Smashwords because Smashwords won't let me start an account; my first publisher set up a Smashwords account in my name, to which only they had access, and even though my books with them have been out of print for two years, their account in my name still exists.)
Promotion isn't my strong point. I'm aware of this. But I've publicized this book through all the venues where I promote my publisher-published romances (which admittedly don't sell well either), I've submitted it for review, and it's on Goodreads. I did have several hundred downloads total when I ran free days through KDP Select, but only two of those netted reviews/ratings on Amazon or Goodreads, and both of those were from people who didn't like the book. I've had a few readers contact me to say they loved it, but they apparently aren't inclined to rate/review it.
So in addition to doing a lot more reading in this part of the boards to learn more about this stuff, and writing and self-pubbing another book to get more interest (which I can't afford to do until I earn back what I spent on editing and cover art for the first one, which looks as though it may never happen), what should I be doing to try to boost sales? Or should I just chalk it up as a failed experiment and crawl back into my publisher-published cave?