It’s a hard thing to hear but your opinion is not going to be trusted when your potential readers are considering giving your book a shot. Why should it be? Of course you’re biased, of course you think your book is the best and everyone should read it. Therefore, you need to focus on gathering as many book reviews as you can, especially if you are a new author.
The reasons why you need book reviews should be obvious. There are countless authors who are publishing books every day, and each of those authors are trying to attract readers to their books, the same as you. To make yourself and your book look better in a potential reader’s eyes, it helps to have positive reviews to show them evidence and convince them that they won’t be wasting time or money by buying your book. Book reviews are social capital, and social capital is priceless because it cannot be outright bought (well it can, but that’s another topic for later).
New authors have a difficult journey ahead of them as they must establish themselves and their worth in social capital. It’s hard to make the kind of sales you want when no one knows you, your name, or even if your book is good. You have to start setting the foundation of your social capital and the most effective way to do it is to start collecting all those book reviews.
Read more about how you can garner those elusive book reviews and why you shouldn’t worry about book sales at Jane Friedman’s blog.