Which is more appropriate for the “if not” in the following sentence?
When a teacher hands out a novel today, the first question in every student’s mind is “Is there a movie of this?”
If not, the next stop is the Internet where some websites will provide short chapter-by-chapter summaries, commentaries, and analysis free of charge.
At first, I thought it was “otherwise” but “If otherwise” seemed to be better.
The only possible problem with “if not” is that you might misread it as contradicting the assertion about the student’s first thought.
“If otherwise” does not make sense to me. You are describing what happens if there is no movie, so “if not” is fine.
In reality, I suspect that looking for a plot summary on the internet will be the first choice, with a movie second. (And movies don’t always closely follow the book.)