Hometown Reads concept is simple. It’s a website for local readers to discover local authors and for authors to create a platform in their own city. Founded by Becky Robinson in 2012, Hometown Reads represents 21 cities across the United States. The website includes a catalog of over 250 books in a variety of genres. Robinson recently spoke to a local news source about authors marketing their own work. “Even of you are a big author and have the finances, marketing a book is difficult,” she says, “We help each other, push each other and challenge each other. It makes it more fun.”
Readers – If you are an avid reader and eager to learn more about authors in your own community, Hometown Reads website connects readers to local authors they may have not discovered otherwise. Readers can go to the website, select their city, pick a genre, and be linked to amazon to purchase the book. Every genre is included: science fiction, romance, adventure, non-fiction, and children’s literature. Readers can also join the #readlocal movement and discover new or seasoned talent through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Authors – Hometown Reads provides support for local authors. They advertise as a “new author platform focused on showcasing books by location.” The business is a division of Weaving Influence, a full service digital marketing agency for authors. If you are an author, you can sign up and get a free author page on their site. The first book listed on their site is free. Currently, authors cannot list more than one book. By including a link to your author website or social media page, readers can learn more about you. They also provide opportunities to meet and network with other locally published authors through a private Facebook group, Read Local [city name]. The Facebook group allows authors to connect with a brand new audience.
Real Stories – Our very own Whispering Prairie Press board member, Jessica Conoley, has linked her new book titled, My Great Escape, to Hometown Reads website. Conoley’s author page includes a photo of the cover page, genre, synopsis, author bio, and a “buy now” button connecting readers to Amazon. Hometown Reads can help Conoley gain recognition, increase her following, and maintain a substantial platform in the Kansas City community and beyond.
Books by Kansas City Authors:
The Lost Tribes by Christine Taylor-Butler (Science Fiction)
Sid the Sasquatch by Wendy Elliott (Children)
BBQ Bistro by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig (Food & Wine)
My Great Escape by Jessica Conoley (Non-Fiction)
Lead Me Home by Theresa Hupp (Historical Non-Fiction)
Swept to Sea by Heather Manning (Adventure/Romance)
Adam’s Needle by Beth Lyon Barnett (Fiction)
Website and social media links:
Hometown Reads website: http://hometownreads.com/city/kansas-city/
Read Local Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReadLocalKansasCity/
Read Local Twitter page: https://twitter.com/hometownreads
Jessica Conoley’s author page: http://hometownreads.com/books/my-great-escape/
Hannah Chow is a writer and editor living in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband, two children, and a pug named Brutus.