I had the opportunity to speak to some of the finest writers in the industry last weekend, at the MacGregor Literary Marketing Seminar.

I talked about social media marketing for books. A classic definition of marketing is “go find where your audience is, and stand in front of them.” I think social media marketing is more about “Go find where your audience is, and have a conversation with them.”

I handed out bookmarks for my latest book–traditional marketing swag, which definitely has its place. But when I give you a bookmark, where does it go? Stuck in a book somewhere, or the bottom of your purse, or left on the table. if I tweet the same info or post it on Facebook, we can talk about it, and I can share a link to the amazon page. In one click, you can be in a virtual bookstore right in front of my book. A bookmark can’t do that.

Part of an author’s job is to market their books. Social media is not the only way to market, but it’s an essential component of any marketing plan.