Writers on Wednesday: Rohini Singh: Finding a Publisher from a Small Island

IslandFinishing my manuscript was a great accomplishment for me. Next, all I needed to do was find a publisher. I was sure that someone out there would like my work, but this proved to be much more difficult than I thought!

I began diligently searching the Internet for publishers in the United Kingdom and United States. As I read the submission guidelines, I learned that most of the publishing companies accepted manuscripts for fiction writers through a literary agent. I also needed to write a query letter and a synopsis. This triggered off another set of research.

There were no literary agents in my country (I could not find any). I found two from the United Kingdom and United States on the Internet and made submissions while simultaneously sending submissions to some smaller publishing companies that did not require a literary agent. These were without success.

I joined several writers’ groups on LinkedIn for assistance. One group member responded that writing the manuscript was the easy part. One in every three hundred first-time authors actually gets a publishing contract. Most of them advised me to self-publish, but I did not want to go down this route since it would require me to market the book myself — no small task working from Trinidad.

Another author offered to assist me with rewriting my query letter. I accepted his offer and was pleased with the results. Shortly after, I received a letter of acceptance from a publisher in the United States, but I did not feel comfortable with what they were offering, so I returned to LinkedIn for more advice.

It was during one of these discussions I met with the founder of Something Or Other Publishing (SOOP). I was introduced to their author-driven model, which incorporated a fifty/fifty partnership with the author. A series of intense conversations with the founder provided detailed information about the model. After finding this new system quite intriguing, I submitted The Time Manipulator’s Son to SOOP in October 2013. Four months later, my book idea was a winner in the I Heart SOOP Authors Contest, and the rest is history!

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