Enough Struggling To Find a Publisher, Do This Instead.

Stephanie Chizoba Odili
The Book Mechanic
Published in
3 min readAug 19, 2019


@webhost on Unsplash

I remember when I first wrote my novel in the summer of 2016. It was overwhelming and the beginning of my professional author journey. I had been doing my research for years and finally was ready to settle down and get this book out.

I was in my 3rd year in school when I met a woman (name withheld) who was invested and interested in youth development, human growth and producing art. She had been a source of career advisor and caterer to some other people and she was also ready to publish my newly written book. Like every other writer, I was excited. The thought of having someone ready to handle ‘me’, my book publishing, my PR, etc., was just amazing. With her guidance, I started with the outline of my book, with about 21 chapters and everything needed to be written. I had scheduled writing days and times to help me complete the book in about three months {I didn't initially keep to this until a friend motivated me to a writing challenge and I had the book written (first manuscript) and ready in two weeks—I hinted at it here.}

Long story short, from the summer of 2016 up until the launch of the book in April 2018, a lot of delays happened. It seemed like the woman wasn't taking the book or me seriously. I would call and try to follow up on when we would meet so that we can speed up the process. We had different and numerous sit-down meetings to discuss ‘the way forward’ that we never took. I kept holding to words here and there of me going to be the best selling author of a political and historical blockbuster. It was all words but no real action. I never spoke with an editor or with anyone in the book industry. It was all her and two other people (one of whom is late now, may his beautiful soul rest in peace). I was getting exhausted and had no more energy.

I consulted my mentor, Jamiu Abiola, whom I met through this woman about what to do. In as much as they were acquaintances, his ultimate goal was seeing me successful and happy, and so he introduced me to three of the biggest publishers in Nigeria —who for one reason or the other was no longer taking manuscripts for the year and told me to wait until it was open to doing so. I didn't want to wait and I was adamant on publishing the book quick enough. Then on one of such my days of speaking with Jamiu, he asked me ‘didn't you…