I have not given up, but I also have not found the "golden path" to sales. Here is what I know: when I do personal appearances, I sell books--people will buy books when you engage them one-on-one. I've never sold huge numbers, but I can always sell a few here and there. The rest is all chance.
I once read the best way to become known as an author is to write your next book. I follow that advice. I also change genres a lot. I started with a Sci-Fi trilogy. Those books were published but went nowhere. Like most first novels, they need a lot more work. As a result, I requested the rights back last year and will attempt to republish them after a serious re-write. Next, I wrote a couple of adventure novels. Eternal Press has those (Kill Zone and Aftermath Horizon.) Aftermath Horizon borders on being a YA romance novel and, from a content perspective, it might be my best novel. I look forward to seeing how it performs when it is released. I also wrote four paranormal comedy novels (Solstice Publishing). Those are my best sellers, but even with them sales aren't great. I did sign a movie options contract for the first two ("The Substitute" and "Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana!"), but all of the options have not yet been exercised. Now, I'm writing a WWII true story, a huge genre change. I have no idea how the book-buying public will react to another WWII book but, if one novel catches on, then the others might follow. Who knows? Lightning could strike.
In addition to my next novel, I try to get my name and books in front of the general public each day. To that end, I put out a "joke a day" on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JamesLHatch) and on a few Facebook pages established for advertising books. I can't say I get a lot of sales from the jokes, but I know many people read them because I always get a few likes. Another thing I do in attempt to get noticed is review books written by other authors. I post the reviews on my web site (http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/) and also on Amazon. Like the jokes, I don't know if the reviews net any sales, but they often get attention.
So, my advice to new authors is this: enjoy writing and be glad you have the talent for it. Not everyone does. Very few of us will ever make it to the top of the heap, so you just have to be content with what you can do. Keep working at it. Make your writing as good as it can be and then learn from your editors how to make it better. Read, read, read … and enjoy.
Thanks for reading,
James L. Hatch (http://www.amazon.com/James-L.-Hatch/e/B005CQB6E6)
P.S. Please “LIKE” my Facebook page if you have not done so already.