A few years back, Becky Robinson presented a new idea to her team: Hometown Reads. Since I was one of the people at that meeting I can tell you that, right or wrong, we unanimously and unequivocally voted her down. The company was barely a year old, every one of us burning the candle at both ends, and I remember telling her, “great idea, not the right time.”
We all knew she was disappointed, but Becky did what was best for her company at the time – even though that meant shelving a dream. Funny thing about dreams though – they have a habit of coming back.
With almost 50 launches in the books since that original conversation took place, in late 2015, Becky dusted off her dream and breathed new life into it. After three years on the shelf, Hometown Reads officially launched on March 1, 2016.
She started really local – focusing on her current hometown of Toledo, Ohio. The response was instant, and within a few days more than 40 authors had signed up to have their books featured on our newest website (created – in-house – by our talented web team).
Not only has Becky and the Hometown Reads team focused on bringing traditional media and online attention to local Toledo authors, but they are also working to develop an in-person network; offering support, encouragement, and community through regular Lunch and Learn events at the Weaving Influence office.
Where will you find them next?
You might think that after launching #ToledoReads, the team would take a break – but if you thought that, then you don’t know Becky! Here we are, a little over a month later, and we’re so pleased to introduce the two newest towns: # and #ClevelandReads.
Dreaming big resonates with people. Three years ago, Becky put one of her dreams on hold to pursue the success of another dream (creating at-home work opportunities for women like me). Today’s overwhelming response to Hometown Reads proves that authors in cities outside of New York or L.A. have dreams too, and they’re ready to share them with the world.
Thanks to the determination of one woman (and the phenomenal team that supports her), they can.
Do you want to see Hometown Reads come to your city?
Contact us and let the team know where you are, and why you think your city should be the next on our list!
Don’t forget to visit our website:
Hometown Reads: from your hometown to the world!
Carrie Koens joined the Weaving Influence team in May 2012 and has held a number of roles, including three years as the Book Launch Director (a title she stepped away from in June 2016 in order to focus on the needs of her growing family), and she currently serves the team as a Writer and Consultant. An INTJ with a penchant for culture, book stores, Parisian cafés, Indian curry, British mystery shows, and her passport, you can find her on Twitter @CGKoens.