It's simple, really: it wasn't selling. At all.
I've therefore cut the price to a more palatable $4.99. And I'm going to keep it there.
At $2.99, sales were modest, as were the commissions. At $7.99, the commissions were better but if you don't sell, you don't earn.
I'm hopeful that $4.99 is the long-sought sweet spot, the price point where earnings reach the maximum relative to sales. And besides, it used to be the price of paperback novels 20 years ago. I think my book is worth today what it would've been worth in 1991.
Meanwhile, the writing of Book Two continues slowly, far slower than I'd like. With a recent cross-country move behind me and some decent job prospects in the offing, I think I can finally start to devote some mental energy back to my writing.
Of course, if the first book sells, I wouldn't have to worry so much about finding a new job in a new city. But I have to keep reminding myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Every reader counts.
And I'm grateful for every single one of them.