Asheville readers: your next favorite author could be your next door neighbor. Bibliophiles now have a new resource for finding local books and authors in the form of an ongoing initiative called Hometown Reads, launched earlier this year by book marketing company Weaving Influence.
Weaving Influence has selected authors in Asheville with published books to join the network of Hometown Reads authors. Readers can find these authors prominently featured on the program’s main website. Weaving Influence experts will also provide authors with assistance for effectively marketing their work. With up to one million books published in the U.S. each year, it can be difficult for an author—especially one who is self-published—to cut through the noise and reach readers, even those living just a few miles away.
Both new and experienced Asheville authors are excited about the site.
“I published my book under my own publishing company,” said featured Asheville author Bailey Baxter. “Because of that, many local bookstores won’t carry it. So, I’ve focused instead on marketing online. But, my book is for children, and it’s difficult to reach kids online. My challenge is… how do I let potential readers know about my book so they can buy it? Hometown Reads can help get word out to my community that my book exists.”
“I’ve had a handful of books published. As time has gone on, I’ve realized that publishing companies expect the author to do the heavy-lifting when it comes to marketing,” said featured Asheville author Bill Treasurer. “Publishing companies push more and more of that responsibility to the author. But, if you work and travel all the time, like I do, you can’t possibly give your book the marketing energy that it deserves. That’s why I engaged Weaving Influence and Hometown Reads!”
Becky Robinson, founder of Hometown Reads, pointed out that the program is the first of its kind. “Until Hometown Reads, there was no way to harness the power of online connection to introduce authors and readers living in the very same zip code,” she said.
Authors can still sign up to participate in the program at www.hometownreads.com/join. The program has already launched in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and more than 40 other cities across the country.
Already, the Hometown Reads website showcases almost 1,000 books—a local work to suit every reader’s taste. Currently featured titles from the area include:
• Believe and it is True by Deborah Lloyd of Asheville, N.C.
• Signs of God Across America by Rev. William Weatherly of Asheville, N.C.
• A Leadership Kick in the Ass by Bill Treasurer of Asheville, N.C.
• Breaking Tape: 7 Steps to Winning at Work and Life by Dennis Mankin of Asheville, N.C.
• The Mirror of Doom by Bailey Baxter of Asheville, N.C.
• Outcast: Kael Jai by E.J. Deen of Asheville, N.C.
• Gutsy Girls by Amy L. Sullivan of Asheville, N.C.
• Monster Visits the Land of Colors by JJ Calloway of Asheville, N.C.