Like many authors, I struggle to get reviews written for my books, and often resort to asking friends and acquaintances to write them. While I don't put words in their mouths and I do ask the reviewers to actually read the book (I'm aware there is a small cottage industry where people basically pay for reviews -- and I'm sure in those cases the reviewers are not reading), I have a really tough time getting past a couple dozen reviews for each one.
Even getting this number of reviews takes a lot of work. I ask for volunteers, write instructions that simplify the mechanics of acquiring the book and writing the review, and volunteer to reimburse the reviewers for their copy of the book (much less complicated than mailing out copies). Then I send out reminder after reminder. Even with all that, the fallout rate (the percentage of volunteers that never write a review) is roughly 50%.
There's no question, getting reviews is tough. If other authors have a more successful procedure, I'd love to hear about it.
I'm sitting on two books right now with single-digit numbers of reviews. The first one is EMPOWERED, my latest novel. There are two reviews written by people that have been long-time readers of my books. I didn't ask for these, and really appreciate that the were willing to write them without prompting. I'm going to wait until the book comes out of KDP select before starting the review cycle again (January 2015).
The other book is NAVIGATING CORPORATE POLITICS. It has three reviews, and is my second best selling book. Although it has been out for quite some time, I have never attempted to recruit reviewers. Since the sales were initially pretty brisk, I didn't feel I needed to bother -- particularly as the book is non-fiction, and my main interest is in focusing on my fictional works.
Unfortunately, some time back a tepid review appeared, a 3 star saying the book "wasn't really all that great" (the reviewer was apparently savvy in corporate politics, and felt the book was too elementary). That review had a chilling effect on sales. Now I would like to get some additional reviews to help offset this negative one. Doing so will be another major task.
If any of my Writing Journal readers would like to do me big favor, just pop over to Amazon and review NCP!