Eric Luper, author of Bug Boy, at
his desk for his Twitter Book Party.

The release of a new book is something to celebrate. Each story winging out into the world deserves a communal "HURRAH!," wrote children’s book author Mitali Perkins on her blog earlier this summer, aka Mitali’s Fire Escape, to announce the launch of Twitter Book Birthday Parties (@bookbday). In the intervening weeks since she threw down the e-marketing gauntlet to help other children’s book authors and illustrators get the word out about their print books on release date, she has filled most of the 75 slots that she had set as her limit.

To date 17 tweet toasts have gone out—and Perkins doesn’t even have a book of her own pubbing for more than a year. "Twitter Book Parties have made me feel like I’m part of a great community of authors and others in the book world. My bookbday was such fun," says Melissa Thompson, who celebrated for Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up last month. "Usually launch day is a quiet Tuesday, but thanks to bookbday, it was exciting and action-packed," says Bug Boy author Eric Luper. On his Web site he notes, "Even the most prolific writer will only experience a book birthday a dozen or so times in a lifetime. So many friends have reached out to me that I cannot begin to estimate how many emails, tweets, Facebook messages and phone calls I’ve gotten."

For Perkins, who was also one of the moving forces behind New England’s Kids Heart Authors Day last Valentine’s Day, which was launched on Twitter, "It’s just using the power of social media. It feels like it should be a celebration. You shouldn’t just be home checking your Amazon numbers. My book [Secret Keeper] released in January. Release date is so depressing."

Like Kids Heart Authors Day, which involved dozens of authors appearing at independent bookstores, Twitter Book Parties are also tied into indies. Those who click on the Book Day tweet to find out more information about the book being celebrated are connected to the IndieBound Web site.