In order to sell books you need reviews as, in general readers are not going to pay cold, hard cash only to discover that they have been sold a pup. Of course my books together with those of many other writers are not pups but, as a potential reader it is hard to distinguish between a pup and a full grown pedigree dog in the absence of reviews. Now comes the rub, in order to get a review someone actually needs to have read your masterpiece and taken the time to put fingers to keyboard but, in the absence of any reviews why should one of those lovely readers out there shell out their hard earned money for my (or your) books?! We are, dear reader caught in a vicious circle from which it is impossible to escape!
Well that is not quite the case. Authors can provide free copies of their books in return for what is termed “an honest review” where the recipient of the book writes an unbiased review and states that they have received a complimentary copy of the author’s work. I have gone down this road with my collection of short stories, The First Time (you can find the resulting review here, https://cupitonians.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-first-time-book-review/). Writing to bloggers and others who write honest reviews is most certainly worth doing, however, prior to doing so check out what genres the reviewer reviews in order to avoid wasting both the reviewers time and your own!
Another excellent way to obtain reviews is by offering your books free or at a discounted price using Amazon’s KDP Select Programme, https://kdp.amazon.com/select. Human nature being what it is people are, in my experience more likely to take a chance on an unknown or relatively unknown author when their books are free (after all what has the reader to lose other than the time expended in reading the writer’s pearls of wisdom)? If you have a blog and/or a website use it to inform your visitors/followers that your book is available free and provide links facilitating it’s easy download.
I have had some success with KDP Select. My short story, Samantha has attracted 5 4 star reviews as a consequence of me offering it free via KDP Selectand publicising it’s availability via this blog, newauthoronline.com.
Ah but what about the elephant in the room I hear you ask. Free downloads don’t put money in an author’s pocket. This is, quite blatantly correct. However reviews gained as a consequence of offering your books free (assuming they are good reviews) means that it is more likely readers will open their wallets and purchase your books. Good luck with your writing and book sales!
(For my Amazon Author Page please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/K.-Morris/e/B00CEECWHY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0).