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I recently attended an indie book fair, featuring independent authors selling their works, and related folks such as editors and cover designers. I admire anyone who has completed a book, and believe that authors are important to society, regardless of the genre they are working in. I realize the best way to support authors is to buy their books, and you all looked so eager to make a sale, but I didn’t buy anything – sorry. However, your presence there, especially if you have a way for me to connect with you via social media, means I might be buying from you in the future, or at least trying to help promote you.

I rarely buy physical books. I like them, and used to have an impressive library, but I no longer have the space, the funds, or the lifestyle that allows me to accumulate large quantities of books. The books I already have are the maximum that friends are willing to carry when they help me move. However, I buy physical books as gifts, so even if your books are not my preferred genre, I might be buying your book online in the future.

If your book is a genre I like, there’s a good chance I’ll purchase the e-book version, and I may post a review too. Meanwhile, I’ll help promote your book by sharing some of your promotional material with people I think might be interested, and suggesting the library purchase a copy.

In order for me to do any of that, I need to remember who you are and what you are selling. Hopefully you had a business card I could pick up, with your website and some social media contact information. The business card does not need to be fancy. I’m going to throw it out once I’ve found you online. I know, I could write down the information myself, or copy information displayed at your table, but a card remains the quickest easiest way to get your contact information.

When I get home, I’ll look up your site, learn more about you, and look at all your books. The site’s important, but I’m not going to bookmark it. To remember you and your site, I’m looking for a social media connection. My preference is a Facebook page, but if you don’t have that I’ll follow you on Twitter, or even Instagram. Linked In? Only if connecting there will look good to potential employers. If you have Facebook, but only have a personal account, I’m not going to friend you. At least, not right away. Maybe after I’ve read your book. If nothing else is available, I’ll sign up for your newsletter.

To those authors I connected with, thanks for having a business card, web site, and some way I can follow you on social media. To the others, may I suggest a greater online presence? It does not need to cost a lot, and may help your sales. To all of you, thanks for writing, and good luck with future sales and writing.

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