I've got three e-books published but my sales are only from friends and relatives. I tried e-mailing my contacts and social networking but have had no luck, so far. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.
The best places to advertise do cost something. Publishing, if you're in it to make money, is a business--and like any other business, it has start-up costs (you paid for a cover and editing, right?) and maintenance costs. If you're temporarily short of money, you could always work on your next books while saving up. But you also have to understand that even if you do spend money in the most effective places, that's still not a guarantee that your books will sell. It's a finicky business.
But, let's start where you are. What's your advertising budget for, say, the next six months?
There are many answers to this question, but with such little detail on your books I only have a little to go off.
Are you writing novels? If so then its a hard genre to crack, your books would have to be totally unique and more than perfectly written from start to finish. An author who went on Dragons Den with her novel, a best seller on the Internet, trying to get investment for the book to be made into film, the investors were not interested one bit. And for them the book contents didn't matter, the way the author presented herself mattered most.
Can you give one of your books away for free? Many business persons made millions by first giving their products away for free, it gets your name out there, and people know if you have a good product or not.
After posting this question, I realized I just wanted to keep writing to hone my craft before doing any kind of promotions. So, I'm into my sixth book in a series of 10 without sales except those I had bought for relatives.
You'll probably have the best bet with with sites like BookBlast and Kindle Fire Department, both of which are owned by the same company by the way. They charge $50, although as low as $20 on some genres, and depending on your price. That's a fair amount to pay, and one that won't break the bank. If you can't even afford $50 for one promo to see how it goes than you probably shouldn't be in this racket, but I think you already know that.