Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Person or In Space? Or Both? Which do you prefer? By Morgan Mandel

I have to admit there's a certain thrill when I'm asked to sign a book at a signing or other event. It's kind of an affirmation that I've made it. I'm really an author.

Of course, there's also that downside, if someone says they've never heard of me. To those people, I usually mention that's why I'm there, so they'll get to know me.

I try to get used to the ones who walk real fast in the other direction so they don't get stuck talking to me or, heaven forbid, buy my book. I'm only human. It does bug me, no matter how I try to ignore it.

Book signings, panels and in-person presentations can be fun or not, depending on expectations and what actually happens. They're a way to get my brand and books out to the public, though not usually to that many people. Still, word of mouth is a good thing. I never know what may come of one person telling the right other person about me or my books. Many times I'll meet someone who'll present another avenue of promotion.

Though I'm excited to appear at book signings and presentations, I have to admit my most often avenue of choice for promoting is In Space, aka The Internet. I can reach lots more people online than in stores, libraries, fairs and other places. Also, I don't have to get dressed real fancy to do it.Although through experience, I've learned to deal with the public, I've never been an extrovert. It's so much easier for me to communicate by writing than by talking. Also since I'm a lousy driver, I don't have to get someone to take me anywhere on the Internet. It's something I can handle myself.

I have to say there are good and bad points about both and I use them both, but my Internet presence far outweighs my physical presence at promoting my books and brand.

What about you?

Morgan Mandel


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Equal parts, Morgan. I do a lot more online now and less in person that I used to do. Standard booksignings aren't much fun anymore, but I love my speaking engagements.

And yes, don't you love the ones that run? Like you're the Kirby vacuum salesman or something?

Judi said...

I think I am more inclined to go to an author signing when I am already familiar with an author altho I do go to find out more about someone who I have encountered on DorothyL or seen a review of their book. I have noticed a drop in number of newer authors appearing locally unless they live close enough to come on their own. Publishers tend to send around people who don't really need the promotion.

tweezle said...

In our area (the middle of nowhere), we don't get many authors at our not-so-local bookstore. If there are signings, it's just local authors. (Mind you, there's nothing wrong with local authors!)

The internet has been a HUGE blessing for me. I've found authors that I would have never discovered otherwise. I also have personally signed books, that I would have never have in my possession as well. It saddens me that I never met these great people in person, but email is a wonderful thing. I get to have a more meaningful conversation through email than I would have gotten in line at the bookstore.

Tweezle from Just One More Paragraph

Jean Henry Mead said...

I much prefer Internet book promotions. I can do it in my pajamas, in the middle of the night or whenever. Book signings used to be great fun but I no longer enjoy the experience. I'd rather be at home writing. :)


Rebecca said...

Have been to quite a number of book signings, but have never been to yours. Let me know when you arrive in sunny so. cal. and I'll be there.

Cheryl said...

Since I'm a virtual book tour coordinator you can probably figure out what camp I'm in. :)

Honestly, I don't mind talking to people. I'll do both in-store signings and virtual book promotions when Little Shepherd Boy comes out this fall. I just feel that online book promotion is more effective because of its reach.

People at church can plug my name into Google even now and get pages of results--a fact they tell me with wide-eyed amazement.

Let me know when you're ready to promote your next book, Morgan. I'll be there to review it for you.

Best of luck,


Dorothy said...

Definitely the Internet. The world is a'changing...and although offline signings are great, online is quicker, you don't have to get ready, oh the advantages go on and on.

Donna McDine said...

Great conversation topic. I plan on doing a combination of both once my book comes out late Spring/early Summer.

Carol Guy said...

Hello Morgan--I do a lot of marketing online but I still like book signings. I love to meet and greet my readers and get their feedback about my books. Nothing replaces that face to face contact as far as I'm concerned.

Deb Larson said...

Great topic Morgan!
I like all aspects in small doses. I'm doing a book talk next week to an elderly book club. I'm not sure what I will encounter, and no mention of money has been mentioned, (my own fault since I'm doing this for my niece) but I will be able to judge personally their likes and dislikes regarding my book. That first hand information will be invaluable.

DL Larson

EchelonPress said...

For me it is not a matter of what I like best, it is more of a business decision than personal.

Internet is great, it has a much larer audience and therefore more potential. However, you are unable to properly ask for the sale and then close and confirm the sale.

That's what it is all about--sales. When you are talking to people in person, you can gently lay the book in their hand, let them experience the luxury of it, then offer (don't ask) to sign it to them.


"May I sign that for you?"
"Would you like to buy that?"

They can say no to both of these.

"I'd love to sign that for you, I am certain you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it."

The key is where can you be the most proactive, and that is obviously face to face.

10 made sales is always better than 1000 potential sales.

Karen Syed

Connie Arnold said...

There are obviously advantages to book signings, meeting people face to face, handing them your book to look at, and I've enjoyed the ones I've done. However, I prefer the internet for the much larger number of people to be reached, convenience of when to do it in the comfort of my own home. I've never done a book tour but have done a virtual book tour. Thanks for sharing the interesting topic, Morgan!