How can I boost sales of my Kindle ebook? I published it on 28 August 2016 and since then only seven copies sold. So any suggestions? What should I do? I shared it on my social-networking page but that didn't help much.
I can give you my personal experience. I wrote The Darkest Wand, Memoirs from Special Education, and Father Pimp. None of them are best sellers, but 2 made it to the top 50 list while on sale for free. All together with print and digital, I've sold somewhere around $500-$1000 of books on my own (sorry - I never tracked sales super-closely).
Advertising seems to be hard to analyze. I don't know what has and hasn't worked. Maybe all of it together.
I shared things on Facebook. I wrote about the books in forums. And I put it in the paper. Those methods didn't yield much.
I included the books in an internet group deal (I did a group deal on groupees.com and made a quick $100). I did discounts and freebies, which often yielded a few sales in the following months, and a few reviews popped up too (check US and other countries' reviews).
I also gave several books away. A few professors liked Memoirs and used it as a classroom book. That yielded a few sales (and it suddenly popped up on pirated books websites 😁).
I put ads on Facebook. For every $50 I spent on ads, I made $50 back in profit - so no profit. But it got the books some attention.
The best thing, however, was writing more. Each book I put on the market yielded more sales for all of my books. I heard 6 or 7 is a magic number. Not sure if that's true.
And lastly, of course, make sure your book is good and you're reaching your likely readers. If you do advertise, target your ads the best you can.
Now, for things I've yet to do: library book signings. I hear they make a few sales. And there are more stores than just Amazon. Get out there. (I'll eventually take my own advice on those ideas, I've been out of the field for a bit).
Note that most authors get a few thousand dollar book advance and publishers usually never sell enough books to make up the advance. Only a few get through to make real good money. I don't say it to discourage you, but to encourage you. You may have a good book on your hands, but unless you keep writing, keep pushing, and keep advertising, it's possible nobody will read it.
A lot depends on the type of ebook. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Is it the first novel or the serial? Genre or non-genre?
The first thing I would stress is getting reviews. The affordable methods include doing giveaways and using a service like http://bookreviewrequest.com/
If you're doing a no-budget campaign, I would put it up for sale and let your friends download free copies for 2 months or so and see if any are motivated to do reviews. Librarything also has a decent member giveaway.
I remain skeptical of web advertising, but Facebook allows enough targeting that it might be worth your while.
You might want to get to know the ebook discovery services (See this article), but keep in mind that the popularity/price of these services are a moving target; what was optimal one month may be overpriced the next.
If you are publishing fiction, you should work on developing the author brand. Then write more! If nonfiction, you should look into keyword advertising (but don't overdo it!). You should do publicity for the ebook in several waves over several months. These are some thoughts for getting started.
Don't overlook the power of the Internet. While it's not a sure fire thing on its own, I've created a lot of interest for my writing simply by creating a few online writing blogs and doing a few posts a week.
As a good first step, I would check out writing blogs on Google, see what sites people are using and which ones you like the look of. Wordpress was where I started out and you could do far worse.
There are so many different things that you could do, but finding the one that works best for your specific book will take a lot of trial and error. Some things work, and some things don't, but you need to be willing to make the effort in order to make the sales. Can it be done? Sure! Over the past three years I have earned enough money from my writing to be able to retire early and now write full time. It's been over a year since I retired, and I earn enough to make a living with just my writing.
There is no way that anyone can tell you exactly what will work for just your book, because every book is different. Ultimately, only you can decide what works and how much effort you're willing to put into it. My recommendation would be to spend time researching what has worked for other authors, and the best way to do that is to spend time on a writer's forum where they discuss such things. My long time favorite is the Writer's Café at Kindleboards. You will find several threads there where authors discuss different strategies they have tried and discuss what worked, why they think it worked, and what they had to do.
Another place to consider is LibraryThing, which is an online community for book readers. They allow you to give away free copies of your book, print or digital, and request that the recipients provide you with a review of the book once they've read it. Reviews go a long way towards selling books.
If you have only one book to sell, you may find it more difficult to gather a following. If your book lends itself to a series, try writing more books. The n you can pursue strategies where you give away the first book for free in order to spark interest, and that in turn will encourage people to buy and read the follow-up books. The bigger your gathering, the bigger the sales. Write a really good book, and it will get you attention. Write several really good books, and they will get you sales.
Your success with self-publishing depends on you. If you just write and publish and then do nothing, you will sell nothing. You have to be willing to put in the time needed to research different processes and find what works best for you. It's not easy, and it does take time, but it can be done.