I thought I would talk a little bit about book birthdays and how everyone can participate. However, before I do, I guess, I better officially define a book birthday– it’s the day that an author’s book officially launches and is commercially available at bookstores as well as online retailers.
How can you participate?
1) On social media you can repost book birthday announcements, you can like and you can comment. You will help generate fanfare and buzz.
2) Take a photo of newly released book in the wild. For my last middle grade, Queen of Likes, readers photographed my book on the shelves in bookstores all over the country, from Roanoke, Virginia to Portland, Oregon. This made the launch seem so much more real! If you see your favorite author’s book (or your friend’s book or your friend of a friend’s book) in your neighborhood store, consider photographing and sharing on Facebook or Twitter and tagging the author, who will be forever grateful for spreading the word amongst their friends. Plus, the author gets to see their book out in the world.
3) Photograph a child reading the book (I’d recommend not showing the child’s face unless it’s a Facebook account with privacy settings not set to public.)
4) Review and rate the book. When kids, librarians, teachers, parents and fans post their reviews on places like GoodReads, LibraryThing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, it truly helps the author. After reading a book that you like, please please please review it right away. Even a very short one sentence review is soooo helpful.
5) Buy the book. I know this one is obvious. But out of all habits, don’t you think a book habit is best? You can always donate the book after you’re done.
6) Request that your local library purchase the book. Yup, patrons can do this. Or gift the book to the library.
7) Attend a book launch party, even if you don’t know the author. Normally when you go to a party uninvited, you’d be called a party crasher. Not so with a book launch, the author wants you there and all of your friends!
There’s so many ways to get involved in book birthdays. The more the merrier! And um, speaking of which, I better get to some party planning as my new middle grade, PUMPKIN SPICE SECRETS (note shameless plug) launches in seven weeks on October 17. Better get baking!
Hillary Homzie is the author of the forthcoming Pumpkin Spice Secrets (Sky Pony/Swirl, October 2017), Queen of Likes (Simon & Schuster MIX 2016), The Hot List (Simon & Schuster MIX 2011) and Things Are Gonna Be Ugly (Simon & Schuster, 2009). She can be found at hillaryhomzie.com and on her Facebook page.