Today, fellow Fire & Ice YA author D.G. Driver joins me to celebrate this blog’s birthday! I am thrilled to be a stop on her “From Earth Day to Arbor Day” blog tour. Driver’s Juniper Sawfeather YA series deals with environmental issues. I recently read the first book in the series, CRY OF THE SEA, an it is awesome! D.G. visited here a couple of months ago when she shared a bite of her newest novel WHISPER OF THE WOODS on BOOK BITES. Today, she shares an honest (and informative) post about book birthdays.
What to do When a Book Has a Birthday
By D.G. Driver
First of all, there is some confusion in the social media world of authors as to what a book birthday is. Some think the birthday is the same as the release day. I often see posts like “It’s My Book’s Birthday!” and find out the book is brand new. Nobody goes to the hospital to celebrate a newborn’s birthday. They celebrate its birth. So, in my lexicon, a book’s birthday is an anniversary of the day the book was born.
That said, my YA romance novella Passing Notes had its 1st birthday in January, and my YA fantasy novel Cry of the Sea had its 2nd birthday in February. How does a person celebrate such a thing? To me, a book birthday is super exciting. My books have been in the world a whole year (or two). They still exist. They’re still available to readers. I feel like there should be cake and dancing. I want everyone to know and be invited to the party.
However, the world at large really doesn’t care about these birthdays. They might eat your cake, but they definitely aren’t interested in dancing. The event passes quietly (kind of like my actual birthday) fairly unnoticed.
My day job is teaching infants at a child development center. When Cry of the Sea turned 6 months and then 1 year old, I took pictures of one of my babies who was the same age as the book holding the book and stuck it all over the internet. I thought that the cutie-pie pictures would be big hits with the retweeters. They weren’t. In fact, one nice author who did RT one for me got a really rude comment back from somebody about how dumb the picture was. I felt bad for her more than myself. Regardless, when Passing Notes turned a year in January, I caught a couple cutie pictures of my babies playing with my printed version at our classroom toy mailbox. (PN is an ebook, but I have some booklet versions for personal appearances). I thought it was cute even if a little blurry. No rude comments came back about that, thankfully.
The 2nd birthday of a book is even harder to celebrate at large than the first. No cake. No dancing. Just a quiet “swoosh” as the day passes by noticed pretty much only by me. By now, all my friends and regular followers are kind of tired of me talking about this book. It’s hard to impress upon new people that a book being around for 2 years is something worthy of their attention. I wrote a piece for my blog about what I’ve been through with this book called “So, My Book is a Toddler”. When you’re done exploring Nina’s blog and website, feel free to pop over and read that too. (www.dgdriver.com/write-and-rewrite-blog)
I don’t mean for this post to be depressing, though. Nina’s blog is a year old, and her viewership has grown over that year. That’s a thing to celebrate. My books are a year or two old, and slowly but surely the books continue to be discovered. That’s worth celebrating too – even if the celebration is just a few happy posts and treating myself to a nice glass of wine. Birthdays for books are another opportunity to get the word out without being sales pitches, and we authors need to continue to look for ways to talk about our work without coming across as annoying sales people.
So, what to do when a book has a birthday? Enjoy these milestones with your work and that of your author friends. We give gifts and greetings to our friends when they have birthdays. What are great gifts to celebrate book birthdays? Like the posts. Share them. Retweet them. Your author friends will appreciate it more than you can imagine.
D.G. Driver is a member of SCBWI and has been a published author for 21 years. She has several nonfiction books in print as Donna Getzinger. Her three books Cry of the Sea, Whisper of the Woods and Passing Notes are all published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books. Her first adult romance story will be in the new anthology Second Chance for Love (Satin Romance Books), coming out in April, 2016. Driver lives near Nashville with her family. In addition to writing, she is a teacher and actress. Please visit her website at www.dgdriver.com or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
Passing Notes is a heartwarming YA romance novella about a ghost who teaches a high school boy how to write the perfect love letter in order to impress the girl he adores? Why is the ghost doing this? And if Mark follows the ghost’s advice, will he win the girl’s heart?
Cry of the Sea is a YA fantasy about a teen daughter of environmental activist who discovers real mermaids during an oil spill. In her efforts to rescue them, she finds herself in the middle of a struggle between her parents, the media, a marine biologist (and his handsome young intern), the kids at school, and the oil company over the fate of the mermaids. Can she keep them from being exploited? Or killed?