Traditional Publishing

How I got a publishing deal - An interview with author, Francis Sookraj – Sunday July 20, 2014

Francis Sookraj recently acquired a publisher using's database of publishers, after exhausting the contacts in the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.  

fw: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Francis. Tell us a little bit about your book.

FS: It's called The Ghosts of Flight B-17. It's about a ten year old boy called Billy MacDonald ,who lives in Scotland with his widower dad with a drinking problem. One day, Billy is by the Loch, he sees an American B-17 flying by. He is befriended by the ghosts of the crew. They tell that their plane is in the loch and they want him to find it. Because there's something valuable that will change him and his dad's life for the good.

fw: How did you go about writing it? Did you plan the whole plot before you started?

FS: I usually write in longhand on a pad and then I type it. I occasionally make notes, but I never know what is going to happen next. It took me three months to write.

fw: Was it your first attempt at creative writing?

FS: No, I have written several books that never got published.

fw: How did you go about trying to get this book published?

FS: I'd had the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook. I must have worn that book out because I wrote to all the agents and publishers that I could find, and all I got was rejection. Or "it's good but it's not for us". All the replies you can think of, I heard it all. It was tiring and at times very frustrating, because you will get lots of rejection. But I persisted. After subscribing I eventually secured a deal with a publisher, and he's been very helpful.

fw: What did you find most effective about the service?

FS: I liked the way they would email me agents that dealt with my kind of book.

fw: How long did it take you to place your work?

FS: I will say two years. I lost count how many places I approach. Roughly 100. I dealt with it calmly and kept on trying. The rejections were polite and courteous.

fw: Which publisher accepted your work in the end?

FS: They are called Ex-cell-ence Publishers.

fw: And how is the publishing process going?

FS: Early days yet. I'm very excited and happy that my book is available for people to read. To get anything either in print or ebook is an achievement. I'm pleased with what my editor did to my book, he has done a good job.

fw: Do you have any tips or advice for other writers?

FS: Yes. Just keep on trying. Write a lot and you will get published. I was on the same boat, but I never gave up my dream.

fw: Are you planning to write another book?

FS: I'm thinking on my next project that I'm working on. At the moment I'm concentrating on getting enough coverage for this book. I want lots of people to read my book and enjoy it.  

fw: Thank you for your time, Francis, and best of luck with all your future writing!

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