If you don’t tweet, blog or post on Facebook or YouTube, you do yourself a disservice because people look for you there. Further, it’s a great way to get discovered. But, that said, the next best thing is to hire someone to be your surrogate online and act as if they are you. Cost aside, the danger is the surrogate says or does things that contradict the brand you want to exude. So, can you just forget social media? Yes, but it then puts more of an emphasis on other areas: news media, speaking engagements, direct marketing, etc.
The key branches are TV, radio, print, and online. You can send books to reviewers and other media and then passively wait for a response. It is not intrusive on your time, but not very effective either. More emails and calls are needed, especially with non-book reviewers – feature editors, columnists, reporters – to get coverage. Can an authoor ignore traditional media? Yes, but they’d need to hire a publicist to fill the void, and even then, you’ll need to respond to interview and guest-post requests. Could you avoid social media and traditional media? Doubtful.
It is not cost-effective to advertise books unless you have a bigger pay-off than sales, such as branding or if you can sell a higher-priced service or product. But if you won’t do social media or traditional media, advertising is better than nothing, provided it’s done wisely through Google, Facebook, etc.
Many authors are busy, shy, or lazy and avoid making public appearances, whether it be bookstores, libraries, events or speaking engagements. Though speaking is a great way to sell books, it’s time-consuming to set up and execute, and it is not as important as getting media or social media.