Local authors now have a new platform to showcase their books thanks to a website called Hometown Reads.
Hometown Reads, which can be found at hometownreads.com, connects readers with local authors.
Albuquerque got its own page for regional authors June 15, about a year after the website launched as a way for founder Becky Robinson to help writers get the word out about their books.
“Your next-door neighbor could be this amazing novelist you’ve never met,” said Robinson, speaking from her home office in Lambertville, Mich., who hopes the site will promote the “read local” movement, which encourages people to buy books that are written by authors in their own communities.
“I think the movement is excellent. because it draws readers’ attention to the fact there are many local writers — some of them excellent writers — in their midst,” said Albuquerque author RJ Mirabal in an email.
His fantasy novel, “The Tower of Il Serrohe,” appears on the site.
“Not all writers live on the East or West Coast or in Britain,” he said.
As of June 30, Hometown Reads featured more than 50 different U.S. cities on its home page. Each city has its own dedicated page showcasing one book for each author who has joined the no-cost site. Authors can add multiple books to the site, but only one appears on the city main page.
In order for a city to gain an official page, it must have at least 10 distinct authors. Albuquerque’s page features at least two dozen authors.
In addition to Mirabal, one of them is Robert Kidera . His mystery novel, “Red Gold,” is featured on the Albuquerque page and takes place in New Mexico.
“Albuquerque is a hotbed of outstanding writers,” Kidera told the Journal, saying the site is a great way for such writers to “get some traction.”
Kidera also called Hometown Reads a great place to do some “one-stop shopping” for local books. Users can’t purchase books directly from the site, but authors can add links to local bookstores and libraries in addition to online stores such as Amazon.
Another of the Albuquerque authors on Hometown Reads is Joyce Hertzoff , the author of the fantasy novel “The Crimson Orb.”
For Hertzoff, Hometown Reads is a way for new and independent authors to be more easily found in a “sea of publications.”
“I’ve already encouraged a writer or two to give it a try,” Hertzoff said in an email. “What can we lose? For now, joining and listing books is free. Any exposure it brings will help.”