On Line? Or In Person?

Rich Selling

I have found that the world can be broken down into two kinds of people; those who are comfortable socializing in person and those who are more inclined to do so on-line. When it comes to marketing books, this is an important distinction.

Even if you are able to devote full-time to book marketing, it is necessary to prioritize  your efforts. No one can do all that one should both on-line and off.  This often means prioritizing Facebook, websites, Pinterest, Twitter, et al, particularly as an Indie author  with an eBook to market. This mantra has been well voiced by marketing gurus: do not neglect your social media.

But when you have a print book to market, social media marketing seems somehow inadequate. Print books demand tactile inspection. They require handling, and smelling those crisp new pages and barely dried ink, viewing the vivid colors of the shiny cover, hearing the flip of pages and the crack of the binding. But this can not happen unless the author orchestrates an opportunity for it to happen: a book launch, signing, book talk, book fair, and so on. And all of these are very time-consuming events both to plan and to do.

But which kind of marketing is most important? And how is an author to decide how much time to invest in either?

Here we divide into types and comfort zones. To the person who believes that a tree that falls in the forest when no one is around still makes noise, the internet is the way to go. For those of us who despair as our words disappear off into the unknown after we type them, never to be seen again, fulfillment comes from placing our book in someone’s hand and watch them flip through the pages and read the back cover.

But the truth is, authors must find a way to manage a bit of both on and off-line marketing; for after all, in the world of readers there are also two kinds of people…

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