Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Looking for Books by St. Louis Authors? There's a Website for That

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 6:19 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR / PAUL SABLEMAN
St. Louis bibliophiles now have a new resource to discover books by local authors.

Hometown Reads, a website that allows readers to browse book titles from authors living in a given geographic area, added St. Louis to its list of cities on August 15. The site currently features thirteen titles by St. Louis-area authors, some of whom are independent authors and others who have more traditional publishers. Readers can find them simply by visiting the Hometown Reads website and scrolling down the page to click on the St. Louis icon.

And that's not all. When you find a book that you want to read, Hometown Reads will also direct you to where you can find it locally, whether that's at a library or an independent book store. Links on the site will take you to area favorites such as Left Bank Books, the Book House, Main Street Books and Subterranean Books.

Hometown Reads currently features more than 1,500 authors and more than 2,000 books. New cities are added when at least ten authors from the area sign up to have their book on the website. In addition to St. Louis, the website also has pages devoted to Kansas City, Springfield and St. Joseph, Missouri.

Hometown Reads founder Becky Robinson has ties to the area — her parents lived in St. Louis for numerous years, and in the past she's summered in both Branson and Kansas City. She created Hometown Reads in an effort to promote literacy in local areas and reading local.

“Until Hometown Reads, there was no way to harness the power of online connection to introduce authors and readers living in the very same zip code,” Robinson explains in a press release.

Now, you won't necessarily see the biggest stars in the city's literary firmament on the site. Luminaries like Kate Chopin aren't around to submit themselves these days; because of the nature of the selection process, you'll see a distinct preference for the living. And others, while alive and well and still publishing, simply may not know about it — yet. (Someone needs to send Curtis Sittenfeld this link, stat!)

But numerous St. Louis authors are on board. That includes chef Rob Connoley, who moved back to the area last year and has a cookbook called Acorns and Cattails, and Sarah Angleton, author of Launching Sheep & Other Stories – From The Intersection Of History And Nonsense.

“It means a lot to me to be featured as a hometown author in St. Louis because the literary history and culture of the city is amazing!" Angleton says in a statement. “We have so many writers at every stage of their careers right here.”

Authors looking to have their book featured on Hometown Reads can sign up for free at hometownreads.com/join. To view the St. Louis page on Hometown Reads, click here.

Editor's note: This post was edited after publication to clarify Robinson's connection to the St. Louis area. Her parents do not currently live in St. Louis, but did for multiple years.


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