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Promo on a budget

So many books! How does a reader decide what to buy and how can authors influence that decision? It's that ugly 5 letter word: Promo. Technically, the word is 9 letters...promotion, but we all know what it is and that we have to do it. Like it or not.

As an experiment, when Amazon began allowing authors to put up their own books for sale, I posted 2 older books whose rights had reverted to me. I did NO promotion. None. I wanted to see if anyone would find my books without it. Well, a few did. I made $20. I probably should have left them there and promoted them, but I wanted to rewrite and reuse them elsewhere. Now, it's a few years later and Amazon is glutted with books and authors have to promote harder than ever.

The sad part is that too many authors have succumbed to the desperation of paying a company to help--and there are always people ready to take advantage of desperation! I know I'm going to get backlash on this. I don't care. It needs to be said. AUTHORS! STOP THE MADNESS! STOP GIVING AWAY YOUR HARD WORK FOR FREE! NOBODY NEEDS TO BUY ANOTHER BOOK AS LONG AS THEY LIVE IF THEY DON'T WANT TO, AND THEY'LL STILL DIE WITH A HUGE TBR PILE! YOU'RE SHOOTING YOURSELVES (AND EACH OTHER) IN THE FEET! Phew. I feel better. I just had to get that off my chest.

So, okay. Unless by some miracle this post goes viral, nobody's going to listen to me anyway. Desperation still abounds. People are still losing their minds over sales. So, what can you do? Well, there is another movement afoot these days called DIY. Do it yourself. Authors are finding all kinds of creative ways to reach readers without laying out a ton of money. It might take a little of your own legwork, and you might not notice an immediate payoff, but at least you won't go deeper into the hole. Because I want to sleep at night and look other people in the eye, I don't undermine other authors no. matter. what! Seriously, folks. Karma is real.

I hope I'm putting a few good karma points in the bank by sharing a list of bloggers who want to host romance writers. No need to pay someone to set up a blog tour for you! You can find my DIY list right here:

The little photo you see at the top of this post was a fiverr. is a place where anyone can advertise anything they're willing to do for 5 bucks. Simply look under the heading you're interested in, check out the options and let the person know you're interested. I looked under 'advertising' and saw this gorgeous pair of lips with something written on them. What a wonderful way to advertise romance, I thought. The young lady in Eastern Europe did what I asked, but it wasn't exactly right. So, she did it again at no extra charge and the 2nd attempt was perfect. A pic is worth a thousand words. I love it!

Free online tweets, facebook posts etc. can be given a little bump with a polite 'please share and thank you'. Not everyone has time to do that, but I'm always delighted when someone takes the extra minute for me. There's nothing like a little good will.

Now that I've said all's my latest release info. Feel free to hit the tweet button, share to facebook, or wherever else the spirit moves you...and please accept my heartfelt thanks!!
ANNOUNCING—Ashlyn Chase’s fist book in the Love Spells Gone Wrong series:
“Entertainment abounds when a coven of witches whip up a few spells to help their friend hold onto her bakery while losing her heart. Can a long distance romance work between a cowboy and a baker if they believe in magic?” —Dorine Linnen, Romance Junkies Reviews
* * * * * Buy links:
Bookstrand-   Direct from publisher-

~ Blurb: Pretty Wiccan Rebecca Colby borrowed money from her father to start a bakery, and now he’s calling the loan due. When she learns he fell off the gambling wagon and owes big money to some scary people, she has to start making a profit—and fast—before the loan shark takes a bite out of her.

Hot Cowboy Dru Tanner is looking for his missing sister who left Texas to explore their New England Wiccan roots. She’s the only family he has left, and he’s desperate to find her. Dru has to hide the fact that he’s not a Wiccan long enough to infiltrate a coven in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It’s the only lead he has.

Dru needs a job and a place to stay while he searches for his sister. Rebecca needs cheap help so she can work some baking magic. Dru makes Rebecca an offer she can’t refuse—if only lust doesn’t drive them crazy first.

~ Excerpt (And why the book is called The Cupcake Coven)

Hanna strolled around the altar ready to thank the Goddess and open the circle. As she turned the corner, her ample hip bumped the altar and a few lit tapers toppled. Three of them landed on the plate of rum cakes and to Rebecca’s horror they ignited.

A dramatic blaze shot up over a foot high. Before anyone could react, Dru shouted, “Stand back.” He bounded through the circle with the fire extinguisher. Rebecca remembered seeing it on a wall in the kitchen, but never thought much about it.

Hannah yelled, “Stop,” but it was too late. Dru had already pulled the pin and was spraying the altar with foamy chemicals. The witches in range gasped and jumped backward to avoid his sweep.

When the extinguisher was empty, Dru placed it on the floor. He set his hands on his hips and faced Rebecca. “Bake cupcakes from now on, darlin’. Cupcakes.”

  Bio: Ashlyn Chase describes herself as an Almond Joy bar. A little nutty, a little flaky, but basically sweet, wanting only to give her readers a satisfying experience. She holds a degree in behavioral sciences, worked as a psychiatric RN for 15 years and spent a few more years working for the American Red Cross. She credits her sense of humor to her former careers since comedy helped preserve whatever was left of her sanity. She is a multi-published, award-winning author of humorous erotic and paranormal romances, represented by the Seymour Agency. She lives in beautiful New Hampshire with her true-life hero husband who looks like Hugh Jackman with a salt and pepper dye job, and they’re owned by a spoiled brat cat.

     Where there’s fire, there’s Ash
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  1. Thank you for the list - I have a new release coming out super soon and this is perfect timing. I gave up giving my books away a while back - so I agree with your rant. I hope The Cupcake Coven takes off and sales soar.

    1. Thanks, Victoria!
      You are a woman of forward thinking and vision.

  2. Those lips are amazing!!!!! Great idea :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Dalton!
      We'll have to remember her for one of our titles.

  4. That is quite the list. It comes just in time for me because I have a book that was published today. I decided I have to bite the bullet and promote this book. I have other books I haven't promoted that are selling at a slow trickle. Thanks.

    1. That's great, Sue! Congratulations on your new release.

  5. As someone who can only afford to DIY, this is comforting. And OMG, I WANT THOSE SHOES!!

    LOVED The Cupcake Coven and can't wait for the rest of the series!

    1. LOL, Brooklyn Ann. They are so you! I hope you find a pair just like 'em.

  6. Thanks! Some of your thoughts mirror some of mine. Namely, giving away books and paying for promo, although I came close to paying because I'm lazy and promo is not how I want to use my time. Cute cover. I wish you much success with your new release.

  7. Fantastic post! Thanks a million for sharing!


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