Why are reviews more important than ever?
Reviews help convert potential readers into buyers, which means more sales for you and a higher return on investment for your work. When readers visit your Amazon book page from your newsletters, online ads, and other promotional efforts, they are more likely to convert if they see a healthy number of reviews as social proof. This is especially true right after your book launches, when sites like Amazon self promote your book to their millions of readers for a short period.
Furthermore, many coveted promotional services (ex. BookBub) look at your book's reviews before they accept your book. Some outright require your book to have at least X reviews. Review count and average rating is a simple and effective way to communicate your book's quality to these promotional services, which… you guessed it — help increase sales!
That being said, we advise authors to only care about reviews up to a certain point. In economic terms, we believe reviews have diminishing returns. In other words, the 10th review will have a larger impact on sales than the 100th review. This is just our, sometimes controversial, opinion, based largely on our intuition and some case studies of successful books. Your mileage may vary.