It is easy to get people to buy your book, however to get them to review your book is a different matter.
It is not as easy to get them to review a book especially if this book happens to be in a niche market such as a history of Transylvania. Having my book in a niche market has made getting reviews a bit more of a challenge.
Most people like to read a good book, and I've had a number of people comment that they like the book. I think for them to sit in front of a computer screen and comment is a more daunting task. This might because this is the first time they will be reviewing a book, or because they are not as confident about their knowledge of the history of Transylvania. This is a challenge for me to deal with especially since many people aren't sure where Transylvania is!
I've even told people on several writing sites, that if they would like to review it, I'm more than happy to send a copy - either a pdf or a paperback.
Some people want to know, where should they put the review?
I am a bit divided. I'd love to have a review on amazon.com or amazon.ca or on whichever amazon site you're willing to review it, but a review on a blog with a link to the book on amazon is also okay with me. (You can email me or, if you really want to, you can take a look at the reviews on amazon.com here.)
As for giving out free books: I am all for the idea, if it I can draw more readers, and if that generates more reviews. I am against the idea that you sell a book to someone who agrees to review it. Simply give the person a free copy of the book and ask him or her to review it. I found most people are more than grateful to get a free book. If the Kindle edition price is low, I will often buy a book to read it, and will also put a badge on it as a Amazon verified purchase.
I think that having both a paperback and a Kindle edition of 'In Search of the Lost Ones' is both a benefit and a challenge for me. Either way the important thing is that even though I have sold enough books to get paid for my Kindle sales, I've only received three reviews. Still it's a good step. People can like a review, which helps me in the long term. I only hope that they don't think that my book is a work of fiction like Dracula.
Is writing reviews in a niche market easy? Not really, but it is rewarding for both the writer and the reader. It also helps sales of your own book in the long term.