The first time I offered my book free for a day, 250 took it, 2 of which came back and wrote a review. I decided to offer it again, but this time I added a disclaimer to my product description and asked the readers that if they were receiving the book as a promo, that the only favor I ask in return is for them to come back and please write an honest review of the book. This time only 80 people took it, but I'm hoping it results in more than only 2 reviews.
My question is this: when we're giving our book away for free, should we be trying to get out as many copies as possible, or trying to get as many reviews as possible?
I always feel reviews come from readers that feel passionately about a work, good or bad. Where authors get confused is in thinking a review is for feedback. It isn't -- it is readers talking to other readers. If the author needs an honest opinion, he/she should enter the book into a critique group or ask for a beta reader, instead of approaching readers directly.
Yes, reviews helps sales, but not as much as you might think. If your blurb is good, you don't need to rely on reviews - they will come along naturally. It just takes time.
I'm not looking for feedback on the book, I'm looking for more reviews on it. My understanding is that Amazon will give more visibility to books that have more reviews. Is this wrong? If so, then how do they decide what to feature and what to promote? If we're not looking for reviews when we give our book away for free, then why are we doing it?