As a self-published writer who hopes one day to make a living from his writing, I find myself with the unenviable task of having to get you to believe two very nearly contradictory things at the same time:
- Sales don't matter. Only the work at hand matters.
- In order to reach my goals, I need to think not only 'artistically' but in business terms.
Now look: I know you can't think both ways at once. Last time I tried, you gave me a migraine. So you'll have to switch back and forth. At the moment you seem to be stuck on the business end of things. I blame it on reading Joe Konrath's blog, so no more of that for at least a week. The comments there suck you in, and you want to compose scintillating arguments rather that scintillating prose.
The unanswerable question that you can't seem to leave alone at the moment is 'when/how do I reach the tipping point?' By tipping point of course you mean the level of sales that generate more sales simply because of the sales already being generated. It's a chicken & egg thing, Brain. The answer is unknowable until it happens.
The single biggest thing a writer can do to boost sales is to release more great titles. This has been proven over and over. Part of it has to do with algorithms at the various retailers, Brain, and part because if someone likes what the read of yours, odds are they'll go looking for more stuff of yours. But there are a whole host of other factors that play in as well. Genre. Price. Cover image. Blurb. You know this. Why are you obsessing? Just. Stop.
You've got half a dozen stories that need some forward motion. Go obsess over them.