Washington (CNN) - As Sarah Palin heads back to Iowa on Thursday for her second book signing in the key political state within a week, her decision not to engage with political activists and veterans of past caucuses is drawing mixed reviews.
She will autograph copies of her new book "America by Heart" at a Walmart Super Center in Spirit Lake, in the western part of the state and an area known as a stronghold for conservatives. Last Saturday several hundred attended a book signing in West Des Moines.
While in the Hawkeye state, Palin has not reached out to those political operatives who are being courted by others who are considering running for the Republican nomination, even as she mulls whether she will enter the fray.
"It is certainly surprising if someone is planning to run for president that they wouldn't be engaging with traditional caucus activists," one prominent Iowa Republican told CNN. He requested anonymity in order to be able to speak freely about Palin.
Other experts said that Palin, because of her unique draw and name recognition, does not yet need to engage in such activity.
"She is able through social media to communicate with core supporters," Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford told CNN.
Palin has told interviewers she is considering running but has not said when she will make a decision.
The former Republican vice presidential candidate has said her book stops are not politically-related, but they do bring her to several key early states in the Republican primary battle - specifically Iowa and South Carolina - and a lot of media coverage while she's there.
While many of those considering tossing their hats into the ring have someone already on the ground in Iowa or have made inquiries about the caucus process with the state party, an Iowa Republican party official told CNN there have been no direct contacts between the party and Palin's representatives regarding the caucuses and their set-up. The party official refused to speak on the record because contacts with the campaigns are private matters.
Right now Palin's emphasis is on selling books, and she has some time before she would need to engage in political activity in the state, a veteran of several Iowa campaigns told CNN.
"She is going to continue this thing as long as she can," Eric Woolson said. Woolson was involved in George W. Bush's 2004 and Mike Huckabee's 2008 efforts.
"You have to talk about issues at some point" in the state, Woolson said. While her core supporters in the state are happy when she comes for such events as book signings, "you are not building your base, not expanding your political base."
Palin's political action committee just reported raising more than $460,000 between October 13 and November 22, bringing its total to over $3 million. The PAC bought 5,000 of her new books and will send autographed copies to donors as gifts, according to one PAC official.
To be successful in the Iowa caucuses, campaigns have required a lot of organization and for the candidates to have quality time meeting with the voters one-on-one.
Could Palin, who has successfully delivered her message through social media, be a different type of candidate?
"Part of her attractiveness to her core supporters is that she is totally unconventional," political expert Goldford told CNN. He is a co-author of the book "The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event."
"She is keeping her field watered and weeded and fertilized, but she hasn't decided whether to plant anything," Goldford said in an interview, using an old Iowa metaphor.
"Are we on the cusp of a whole new day of doing this?" asked Goldford. While he thinks she would have to employ at least some of the time-tested techniques previously used in the state, the prominent Republican activist who requested anonymity said if Palin tries to run in a different way that "would be a very risky strategy" and probably one that would not be successful.
While the process for the next presidential cycle is starting later than the 2008 cycle, political activists in the state have a warning.
"All of the potential candidates need to get on with the program," Woolson said. "They need to be making those calls."