Read Local: Ann Arbor Authors Take
Center Stage in New Program
Ann Arbor 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 yesterday by nearby book marketing company Weaving Influence.
Weaving Influence invites Ann Arbor-area authors with published books to join the network of Hometown Reads authors, and will prominently feature these authors 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.
Rue Allyn of Romulus, Mich. has authored several romance novels. She said, “The number of venues for spreading the word about my books has exploded beyond my ability to use them all. This wealth of access should be a good thing… The problem is with knowing how effective my marketing efforts are.” Kristen Gibson of Rochester Hills, Mich., who has also authored a romantic mystery, agreed: “There are so many marketing methods, deciding what path to take can be overwhelming… Hometown Reads has turned out to be a helpful and easy way to connect and share my work with local readers.”
“I have no advertising budget, so even making people aware of my book is very challenging,” said Tracey Cohen of Farmington Hills, Mich., author of Six Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome. “My goal is for my book to reach people all over the world in an effort to help anyone and everyone affected by autism.”
Already, the Hometown Reads website showcases a local work to suit every reader’s taste. Currently featured titles from Ann Arbor includes:
- Ann Arbor Beer- A Hoppy History Of Tree Town Brewing by David Bardallis of Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Rekindled Passion by Nataki Bush of Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Even In Darkness by Barbara Stark-Nemon of Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Knight Defender by Rue Allyn of Romulus, Michigan
- Waves of Influence by Bernadette Johnson of East Lansing, Michigan
- Who’s Behind the Fairy Doors? by Jonathan B. Wright of Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Red Ochre Falls by Kristen Gibson of Rochester Hills, Michigan
- Rooted Together by Jolene Witt of Deerfield, Michigan
- The Sweetheart Racket by Cheryl Smith of Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome by Tracey Cohen of Farmington Hills, Michigan
Ann Arbor authors can still sign up to participate in the program at www.join.hometownreads.com. Hometown Reads authors will appear at local book events in the coming months. The program has already launched in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, and will also launch in Cincinnati, Grand Rapids and Indianapolis later this year.