Self-Promotion, Branding, and the Bicycle Book Tour!

If you’re looking for some real pro tips on author branding and promotion, I’m going to point you to Lainey Cameron who has some of the best advice out there. I especially recommend the panel she moderated at AWP 2021 called Debuting During a Disaster with four other incredible authors and marketing geniuses including Lisa Braxton (a Former Debutante!), Eddy Boudel Tan, Barbara Conrey, and Linda Rosen.

As for me, I’ve just stuck with doing the things that are fun and authentic to who I am. In the summer before my book launch, that meant the Bicycle Book Tour!

From the day I got my ARCs to the day of my publication in September, I biked all over town, delivering them to anyone who was interested in reading and reviewing. It was super fun to deliver books in a way that fit with my lifestyle, my goals around sustainable and healthy transportation and my work at the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

I had a ton of fun documenting the Bicycle Book Tour on social media and building up excitement for whoever was going to be getting the book next. Folks did enough Goodreads reviews that my publicist was impressed with how many I had before launch day.  And everyone that read signed my ARCs with some sweet notes so I ended up with some really lovely mementos of this time.

Other things I really enjoyed included: connecting with and learning from the fabulous community of 2020 Debuts; Bookmarks!; A big, live launch party even in the midst of COVID (but in a socially distanced way!); Figuring out websites, mailing lists, and social media; Bookclubs!; and doing fun events with local bookstores and organizations like Books, Inc, Hicklebees, Recycle Bookstore, The Campbell Museum, and San Jose City Lights Theater.

What things are you planning for your own branding and promotion?

Author: Ehsaneh

Ehsaneh Sadr is an Iranian-American novelist and activist with a PhD in International Relations. She has worked, in various capacities, on campaigns related to Palestinian human rights, Iranian sanctions, access to credit for rural villagers, and safe spaces for children in crisis. She currently works with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition to create the cultural and infrastructure changes needed to support a shift away from carbon-based modes of transportation. Ehsaneh currently lives in Northern California with her husband and two children but also considers Washington DC, Salt Lake City, and Tehran to be home.