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Vivek Shraya on the online self-promo that makes for a successful offline author road tour.

Authors have always been expected to self-promote to some degree, but occasionally an author — or, in this case, two authors — comes along who seems almost born for the task at hand.

Vivek Shraya has just finished a road tour with Farzana Doctorinterviewed here this past summer. The "God Loves Pavement" tour, a mash up of the titles of the books they were promoting, Vivek's God Loves Hair and Doctor's Six Degrees of Pavement, spanned seven cities in Canada and the U.S.

 

Shraya and Doctor also started an entertaining tour Tumblr where they posted regular updates, images, event details and a series of delightful short videos called "Brown Moments." (More on that below.) On one level, the blog functions as it should, to keep readers informed of their whereabouts and as a charming memoir of their time together. But it's also a helpful tutorial for other authors seeking a case study on what it means to report from the road, engage an audience and which tools work best.

Julie Wilson: How did you and Farzana decide that it would be feasible (and survivable) to road tour together?

Vivek Shraya: Farzana and I were both invited to do a reading at London Pride last summer that involved a five hour drive. Farzana offered to do the driving on one condition: I was to entertain her with my entire life story. I clearly wasn’t able to satiate her desire, as shortly after that reading, she approached me with the idea for the tour.

Touring together was a bit of a no-brainer because we ar …

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