I can't stand selling anything, which is funny because I love money. I do love marketing, however. Someone asked me recently what the difference was.
Selling is "Hi, buy my book." It's boring, and no matter how someone tries to sell, the aura of desperation is never impossible to hide whether it's a car, a sofa, a dream vacation or a book.
Marketing is more interactive, therefore more interesting to me. If I'm at a table with my books on display, I won't first push my book under their nose. Instead, I ask questions, because I find that more appealing. What brought them to the event? What authors do they like? Do they write? This tells me if they'd be interested in my genre, or more importantly in my services. I come from the fortunate position of not needing them to make a purchase, but to hopefully remember me. If they don't make a purchase, perhaps they'll go online and read what I have to say. That's my true goal as a writer.
I like to support local authors. I will buy their books, refer them to others, name drop in a professional setting. But when people ask me about the author, or speaker, because people are my specialty, I am quite honest. Every thought shows on me, it's pointless to hide it. My impressions become stories that I share when trying to network.
Last year, I bought a book because the dog-story premise seemed interesting. Not so much for myself but I thought it would make a great gift for my sister, a serious dog lover. I tried to engage in conversation with the author, who seemed nice enough but unresponsive. I explained that I'm more of a cat person, and asked that she sign the book to my sister. It wasn't until later I looked inside and saw "Enjoy your cat experienced!" and her name.
And there the gift was ruined, because she wasn't paying attention.
I saw the author again recently, and felt the same vibe. Only wanted to make her announcement, but there was nothing personal in her interactions. It was all very polite and nice as I watched, but I'm curious how many really retained the information.
So, if you want to make an impression, come bearing the ring, and engage.