My team and I are proud of the work we’re doing at Hometown Reads. Read about our growth in this recent press release.

In order to share a deeper update with our Weaving Influence audience, we thought we’d interview Heather Manning, a Hometown Reads author who is also an important member of the Hometown Reads team.

Heather, tell us about yourself and your books.

I am currently attending Stephens College to study theatre and performing arts, but in my free time, I am an author of inspirational historical romance with a twist of adventure. My first book in the Ladies of the Caribbean trilogy, Swept to Sea, was published with Clean Reads Publishing when I was 16 years old. A couple of years later, its sequel, Carried Home, was released. This year, I am finishing up work on my third novel, Tossed Together.

How did you find out about Hometown Reads?

I first heard about Hometown Reads through an article in my local newspaper, The Kansas City Star. I was very excited about the opportunity to put my book on Hometown Reads, so I immediately found the Hometown Reads website and joined.

What has worked well for you in marketing your books?

I have learned that marketing is a trial-and-error process that is different for every author. I have found much success with marketing my books through Facebook parties and a video blog that I keep on Youtube. I feel that it’s very important for the reader to feel like they personally know an author.

What challenges have you faced in marketing your books?

Most recently, I have faced the challenge of not having enough time to market my books. Life gets very busy, and unfortunately, a simple thing like marketing your books will sometimes get pushed aside. I am working to correct this by scheduling my time more efficiently to balance work, school, and writing/marketing.

What do you see as the benefits of authors participating in Hometown Reads?

Hometown Reads is such an amazing opportunity for authors! My publisher always tells us to NEVER pass up an opportunity for free promotion, because every bit of publicity helps. Hometown Reads helps authors get traction in their own town, where readers are more likely to pick up their book if they know the author is from their town. I think it is such a cool concept.

What do you do as a team member at Hometown Reads? What part of your work do you love most?

I do a lot of things at Hometown Reads, from outreach and customer support, to editing and publishing pending books, or writing promotion tweets about authors’ books. My favorite part of work, though, is definitely the outreach aspect of it. I love finding new authors and helping them join Hometown Reads.

It’s been great to have an author adding her thoughts to our brainstorming process. I’m thrilled that Heather joined our team, and excited to see continued momentum for Hometown Reads!

If you’re an author who would like to see your Hometown featured, add your book by signing up at