I had hoped that having 2000 followers on Quora would produce a better turnaround when I self-published, but the followers are a diverse bunch from all over the world and only a fraction of them turned out to be in my target demographic. Tens of thousands of eyes have read my book promotions on Quora, but I still only have 20 purchases in 2 weeks. In retrospect, I should've sent out pre-prints to the reviewers from sci-fi magazines before I hit the publish button. I should've tried to get some of the chapters into some sci fi magazine before I hit the publish button. Having ready-made blurbs to link to would've converted a lot more of the visibility I got from Quora into purchases. I got a lot of facebook upvotes from some mom groups and snooty academic circles, but not very many purchases and the moms who agreed to write reviews in exchange for a free copy are, well, typical. They don't follow through.
Two weeks after self-publishing, I'm still searching for my audience. It might be that the product is too weird. People like familiar stuff. I know that men are drawn to the title, the cover, and they like it when I list off the sci fi tropes which are part of the story. I haven't tried to reach groups of younger people because I don't know any, but maybe I can get one with a lot of followers to read it and review it for their peers. Altogether, it is rough going, but I'm following through by making an audio book to reach the people who like to multitask. Audiobooks are a lot more popular nowadays than they were when I was a kid. I've lowered the paperback price as far as it can go and I'm waiting to lower the Kindle price until I have some reviews. What I don't want are reviews from a bunch of jerks who buy it for 99 cents just so that they can trash it.
While recording the audiobook, I'm realizing the importance of crystal clear prose. It makes me realize that these things need to be structured as simply as a children's book, even if they are written for adults. In the future, I think I'll use audio recordings to finalize a story. Ulysses is a pain in the ass to read, but it is a pleasure to read aloud. What I've written so far is sometimes the reverse of this.