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Publishing has changed a lot in the last few years. I think my experience with getting my first novel published outside the ‘Big 5’ publishing world has been fairly normal. Close to 400,000 books are published in the U.S. every year and an increasing proportion of them are from small ‘indie’ publishers. I never really expected to get an offer from one of the big publishing houses. I was an unknown author with a quirky book that didn’t fit neatly into any defined genre. I did query some agents but I focused mainly on contacting publishers who allow direct submissions from authors. Those publishers get a lot of manuscripts so it was a slow process. It was almost three months before I started hearing back. When I finally got an offer of a publishing contract from Black Opal Books I jumped on it and signed right away. Black Opal put my book through two rounds of editing and handled all the details of getting it out into the world on all the major online retailers in both print and eBook formats. They’re a small press without a lot of resources though so marketing has been up to me. Marketing is a whole new set of skills to learn but it has been interesting so far. I have contacted a lot of bookstores and mailed a lot of review copies. My experience of publishing with an indie press has been great. I would encourage other first time authors to check out indie publishers, take a look at what kind of books they like, and submit to the ones you think might be interested in your work.
“What happened to that painting you used to have above the bed?” I asked.
“Above the bed? I didn’t—” Val turned, stopped speaking, breath caught.
A moment later, she whirled, flipped on the light switch, jumped onto the bed, and placed her hands on the wall above the headboard. In the light, I noticed there was a picture hanger still nailed into the wall and a square of slightly brighter paint where the painting had hung. She ran her hands over the bare wall then turned to look at me. Her eyes were manic, her body tense. “Tell me this is some kind of joke, Justin.”
“No joke,” I replied. “Was it there when you left for the gallery?”
“Yes, I think so.” She stepped down off the bed and started frantically pacing the room, looking everywhere. “I’m sure it was.”
“Did you have cleaners scheduled today?”
“No. They come on Wednesdays.”
“Did you leave your balcony door open?”
She looked at me, suddenly focusing. “No. I never leave it open.”
“It was open when we came in. Was it locked?”
“Maybe not. I don’t know. I was in a hurry.”
“Let’s see if anything else is missing,” I said, turning toward the door.
Valerie grabbed my arm, pulling me around to face her. “I don’t care if anything else is missing.” She was on the brink of tears, a tight, almost hysterical, edge to her voice. She raised her hands, placed them over her ears, shaking her head back and forth. “I don’t care. That painting is the only thing I own that I care about, Justin.”
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/old-gold-mountain-bradley-w-wright/1128171096?ean=9781626948815
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