I've been hanging out at author's groups, and a common complaint is : "I can't get readers to come to my site - blog - chat list, etc."
I don't know any magic spells or sure-fire tricks, but I do know that readers love freebies.
They love free short stories, and I've found several authors that way - a short story offered online either as part of a website or on a blog or newsletter in installments is a good way to hook readers.
Another way is offering contests and prizes. There is a plethora of gifts that are inexpensive, fun, and easy to post that readers can appreciate, and e-books are a good prize too.
Right now, over at my website I'm giving away an e-book.
It's the sequel to a book I've already published, and I (hope) that readers will try it, and want to find out more!
I don't have a huge promotions budget (sound of hysterical laughter) Actually, my budget is about zero - so an e-book is the way I've found to promote my work. I've even sent the book to a reviewer so I can get her to post about it too, and I'm going to ask everyone to mention it on their blogs. (Thank you! Will return the favor!)
Promotion can be done alone, or with the help of others. (As Blanche Dubois said, 'I depend on the kindness of strangers.' )
With a little imagination, and a little help from your friends (and strangers) promotion can take off - and take off in unexpected and interesting directions.
Free e-book at http://www.samanthawinston.com