I'm learning there's a big difference! Online promotion seems time consuming, but it's not really. You type something up, you have time to edit and fix it up, then you post it somewhere: your own blog, someone else's, a forum, facebook, twitter, newsletter. That's it.
In person promotion is something else. For one thing, putting yourself out there is antithetical to most writers' personalities. You have days to prepare, plus you have to physically go somewhere. I knew I might have to something with media someday, but didn't know it would come so soon.
I had my very first experience with this on Saturday. Through the miracles of networking (and the wonderful author, Janice Hamrick), I got an invitation to do a radio interview for KAZI, Austin's local non-commercial FM station (88.7). The book reviewer, Hopeton Hay, read my book and was well acquainted not only with it, but with my whole life history when I arrived at the recording studio early Saturday morning. (I'd never been inside a radio station.)
I was so nervous for days before. I listened to his other interviews (he's interviewed Harlan Coben!) to try to get an idea of what he would ask, but couldn't detect a lot of canned questions. So I figured I'd better be prepared for anything. I printed out thirteen pages of things I've written for online interviews. Maybe I would forget the names of my characters, the name of my book, my own name!
Not to worry, the host knew all that. We chatted a bit first, I practiced putting my lips 1/16 of an inch from the big, cushy-looking mike, and making the electronic signal go into the space at the end of the bar, then we started. He lobbed me easy questions, things I could talk about! It was like we were just chatting for ten minutes, then it was done. Whew!
Dare I try TV?
Public domain photo taken by Johhnystir