Most people are familiar with the “buy local” movement. There’s also a trend now toward getting readers to “read local”. Just as buying local” helps consumers find fresh vegetables, unique clothes and jewelry, and original home decor, “reading local” lets readers discover authors with fresh new voices and intriguing tales right in their neighborhood. If you like to buy local artwork and crafts, why wouldn’t you look into buying local books?
From my perspective as an independent author, it makes sense to promote “reading local.” My novel, Lead Me Home, is about travel on the Oregon Trail. The Kansas City area was one of the major “jumping off” points for emigrants to the West, and it feels natural for me to engage with Kansas City readers about our local history when promoting my book.
Also, I have fun sharing my novel Lead Me Home at book signings and with book clubs. These events are easiest to arrange with audiences close to home. I know there are lots of readers in the Kansas City community who would enjoy reading and discussing my story about the Oregon Trail.
To support the “read local” initiative, I’m a part of two groups trying to connect authors and readers in local communities across the nation.
The first group is a new Facebook page Read Local Kansas City. This page was created for Kansas City readers, but it is open to everyone on Facebook. It is sponsored by a group of local Kansas City writers. The page is designed to engage readers in discussions about reading and help them discover books and events in our community.
I hope readers of this blog will “like” the Read Local Kansas City page, whether you live in the Kansas City area or not. You’ll hear from authors, librarians, and others involved in the literary community, and get notice on events of interest to readers.
I’m the “In the Spotlight” author on Read Local Kansas City this week, so head on over there to see what I’ve written about my novel.
Read Local Kansas City is just one piece of the bigger movement toward “reading local”. A new website, HometownReads.com, is showcasing local writers and their books in communities around the U.S. They recently added Kansas City to their list of cities.
I’m biased, but I think the Kansas City page is beautiful. Several of my writer friends have books featured on this page, but I’ve already discovered authors in our community that I hadn’t known before.
Writers, if your community is already featured on HometownReads.com, you might want to sign up and publicize one of your books. If your community is not featured, get a group of writer friends together to get your location added to HometownReads.com.
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My question this week is directed to readers:
What events about books and reading are you most likely to attend, and how would you like to learn about these events?