I was thinking today how I wanted to be a working writer when I grew up. I didn't realize at the time I would have to become a working salesman to maintain a career. But that is the reality of today's market. Some people are constantly promoting themselves and their books. They shake hands and press business cards and mention their work to everyone every time they get a chance. Me, I like to model my selling technique after insurance sales. The best insurance sales people know their community. They know their neighbors. They let their neighbors know that they sell insurance, but mostly they build a community and care about the people in it. The idea being that people will come to them with their insurance needs because they trust them.
I've had people say- yes, you have so many friends and followers but how does that translate into sales? For me, it translate into building community and if sales come from that then all the better.
As a reader do you prefer hard sell or soft? Does it matter at all? Or do you only read the books whose covers catch your eye or who a friend recommends? Is author as salesman only there to impress our publishers? Or does it make a difference to you the reader?