Authors say they are ‘small fish’ in the publishing industry


The #Getafterit Book Tour made a stop in Bowling Green at the Novel Blends bookstore and café.

Authors Kim McCollum (“What Happens in Montana”) and JB Harris (“The Immigrant’s Wife”) have been driving from Montana and will end in Maine, appearing at venues that are willing to support their movement. The pair of authors will drive a total of 2,376 miles when their journey is complete.

They were in Bowling Green on April 27.

“It’s awesome. We’ve had a blast. It’s fun because we haven’t known each other at all that well (before the trip),” said McCollum. “All the stores have been great to us. It’s wonderful because we get to promote the stores, our books, and the idea of lesser-known authors getting some media attention.”

Their movement is a grassroots marketing effort to make great books available across the country, despite the challenge it presents to the “small fish” in the huge ocean of the publishing/media industries. Their hope is that through this tour, the bigger publishing houses will take more action helping the authors who do not have the support of a big publishing house.

“We’re with midsize publishing houses that are traditionally published and available through all the same networks as a bookstore. We just don’t have the millions of dollars behind us that the big five (publishing houses) do.” said Harris.

McCollum and Harris are also bringing attention to the inequities in media/publishing.

“One of my favorite books I’ve read recently (“The Berry Pickers”) says National Best Seller on the cover before it’s even gone out. Nobody has even read it and the publishing houses decided it was a best seller,” Harris said. “They’re really good books, but I’ve read books (like ours) that don’t get the same notice. Inequity comes with the big media. You can’t seem to hand them a book to be read and reviewed. It doesn’t work that way.”

McCollum’s debut novel, “What Happens in Montana,” is about friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. It follows a group of women who gather at a haunted hot springs retreat in Montana for a reunion. They come from different backgrounds and have struggles, but they’re all seeking to break from the chaos of their lives. As they bond over old memories and create new ones, they also confront the challenges of life, love, and the occasional poltergeist.

Harris’s novel, “The Immigrant’s Wife,” is a historical women’s fiction inspired by her great-grandfather’s disappearance. It’s a story about love, sacrifice, and resilience, set in 1913 when tuberculosis ravaged America. The novel follows Anna Patrinos, a middle-class girl who elopes with a Greek immigrant man named Charles. When TB tears them apart, they give up everything for their love and their child. But Charles is anonymously exiled to a sanitorium to protect Anna and their unborn baby from the deadly disease. When they’re finally reunited, they must confront what it means to belong and whether love is enough to heal their devastated lives and start anew.

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