Self-published authors are always looking for inexpensive ways to improve their book marketing efforts. If you are on a limited budget, then your number one priority should be to focus on obtaining reviews on Amazon. In addition to book sales, positive reviews can help boost your standing in the Amazon sales ranking system, especially in the advanced search function that includes an "average customer review" option.
Additionally, once you receive 20 reviews and an average rating of four stars or better, you can potentially qualify for the marketing promotions available on BookBub and other author-friendly websites.
Reviews on Amazon are hard to acquire for new authors, so it’s important to grease the wheels and give yourself every advantage. It’s important to remember that friends and family may be reluctant to review your book publicly for fear of exposing their lack of writing skills. Instead, you may find more success tapping into social media and running book promotions to try and encourage review activity.
Many self-published writers groups on Facebook can serve as a forum to advertise your book and also solicit reviews. There is nothing morally or ethically wrong for two authors to agree to exchange honest reviews of their respective books. Using this method can help increase your review count and also establish mutually beneficial relationships with other self-published authors. It’s relatively easy to contact another author in a Facebook group.
Promotions are another way to receive reviews. If you run a free giveaway on Goodreads for example, you might try including a personal note asking the winner to give you a positive review if they enjoyed your book.
The Hidden Author was designed to harness the collective purchasing power of the self-published author community. As part of their membership agreement, author/members are required to provide four reviews of books listed on the website. Since these reviews are crafted by other authors, they tend to be well-written and professional. Since only author/members can submit reviews, readers can be assured of the authenticity of the review process.
Of course, author/members are encouraged to post their review on Amazon as well. Better sales and more reviews will help your self published book gain visibility and a higher ranking on Amazon.