Local is big. Patronizing local retailers, supporting local food growers, and buying locally made products have all grown in popularity in recent years.
The local movement is also trending on social media. One company, Monster Art Clothing recently sent the following tweet “#shopsmall at @Monsterclothing and #support #local #seattle #artists.” Clearly the company features clothing from Seattle artists and is encouraging residents of the city to support these local artists.
With print-on-demand and digital publishing, it is easier than ever to publish a book. However, marketing a book is becoming more difficult in the sea of competition. Marketing can be time-consuming and expensive. With the belief that people tend to be more open and willing to support a local author they consider their neighbor, Hometown Reads was born.
Piggybacking on the support local trend, Hometown Reads has started a #readlocal campaign. The site is designed to help book lovers find books by local authors. It features more than 700 published books by authors in 32 cities. Readers can also search by city or genre on the site.
Authors can sign up on Hometown Reads and feature one book free of charge on the website. Each author receives a microsite with a unique URL for a published book. The site is growing with new cities appearing on the website weekly based on author interest.
If you are an author, you can use Hometown Reads to promote your book locally in your city. If your city is not listed, sign up anyways. Once Hometown Reads has 10 authors from a given location, they add that city. So, if your city is not listed, encourage other local authors to sign up on the site so that you can have a presence.
I think the #readlocal movement is an excellent idea. Getting local readers to discover local authors broadens your reach and help you find more readers for your books.
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