Book Marketing: Hometown Reads

Sep 12, 2016 | Profit

Writing a book is hard work. My clients spend a year or more of concentrated effort writing their books. Then it’s time to promote the book and use the book to promote their businesses. It’s not easy.

Then they have to market the book. That’s hard work, too. Nobody knows that better then Becky Robinson. Since 2012, her company, Weaving Influence, has helped business book authors like Ken Blanchard, Whitney Johnson, Bill Treasurer, and Cheryl Bachelder make their books successful. Now Weaving Influence has a new service, and it’s not just for business book authors.

The service is called Hometown Reads. It grew out of Becky’s insight that many writers are unknown in their own hometowns. I interviewed her to find out more.

Hometown Reads is a service that helps authors connect with readers and each other. It’s another way to build your platform and another tool in your promotional toolbox.

Get better known in your hometown

A few years ago I was at one of my church’s men’s group meetings. It was a pretty big church so we didn’t all know each other and so we wore nametags. One fellow looked at my nametag and said, “Hey, are you any relation to the Wally Bock who wrote Cyberpower for Business?”

Maybe if we all wore nametags all the time, more of our readers would find us. Or, we could do what an author friend of mine did. She carried a copy of her most recent book everywhere she went. You can imagine the questions that generated.

“What’s that book about?”

“Why are you carrying that book in the supermarket?”

But sometimes what she got wasn’t a question. When someone said, “I love that book!” my friend had just connected with a local fan. Hometown Reads can help you use the power of networks to make wonderful moments like that happen more often for you. It also makes you more visible to local groups who need a speaker or potential clients who didn’t know you lived just down the street.

Hey, wait a minute, you’re a reader, too

Writers are readers. You probably have a few favorite authors. Use Hometown Reads to see if any of your favorites live close by. I can’t wait until Hometown Reads rolls out here in Charlotte to see if any of my favorites live here, too.

Professional connections

About a month ago, I met a fellow at a party. We did the usual American social ritual. He asked me what I did. I gave him the short version of my elevator speech: “I write books.” He said, “Me, too.”

Ed is a historian. For most of the rest of the time we were together that day we talked about the craft of writing books, publishing them, and selling them. It was a great connection. Hometown Reads can help you make more of those connections happen.

I love talking to writers who work in other genres, because most of the time, what is routine for them is a big insight for me. Ed lives close enough to me that we’ll have “Coffee and Craft” chats.

I don’t travel as much as I once did, but I intend to use Hometown Reads on my next trip. I’ll look for authors in the town I’m visiting and see if I can set up a chat.

Bottom Line

Hometown Reads won’t transform your marketing and magically make you successful. It is a service that you can use to become a better writer and improve your reading experience, too.

Full Disclosure

Becky Robinson is a friend. I’ve used her company’s services myself and I’ve recommended them to clients.