• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:

    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!



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Fallon Friday: Dispelling some myths about getting published – Part 3

Click here for part one
Click here for part two

The Corporate Conspiracy Theory

Yes, you are absolutely correct. Those evil publishing corporate giants are only interested in making money. As a consequence, they will only publish genre work that’s likely to make money. If your manuscript has been returned with a “thanks, but no thanks” note attached, it’s because — bottom line — someone at the publishing house (and often more than one “someone”) thinks you are not commercially viable.

This is the cold hard reality of publishing. If you want to be published by a mainstream publisher who deals in commercially viable works, particularly genre fiction, write something commercially viable. They can’t go to a shareholders meeting and say “we may have shown a loss this year, but wow, you should see some of the unpublishable stuff we have”.

You wouldn’t expect your bank to invest in something that won’t make money. Why do you assume publishers should?

Accept responsibility for your own work. Send your work to a publisher who actually publishes your type of work. If they knock it back, and that’s their area of expertise, there’s usually a reason and it’s usually the quality of the manuscript.

Believe me, it’s never “we’ve made enough money this year”.

Luck is not a factor

My agent used to represent Sara Douglass. She had written her first fantasy novel and sent it in, it had been read and rejected and was sitting on the desk waiting to be posted back to her when my agent got a call from a publisher looking to enter the fantasy market, asking if she had any fantasy writers on the books.

Instead of going back, the MS went to the publisher and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sometimes, the luck goes your way, other times, it doesn’t. You might have written a brilliant work about flying pigs and sent your MS to a publisher the day after they received a proposal from J K Rowling about, well, flying pigs. There is nothing you can do about that and you have no way of knowing if it’s happened to you.

Getting published is about 99% hard work, but that 1% luck has to be there too.

Jennifer Fallon’s latest series The Tide Lords will conclude in December with The Chaos Crystal.

Jennifer’s website and blog


2 Responses

  1. Thanks Jennifer for your posts on the hard cold reality on getting published.
    I suppose a part of it, as you point out, is being in the right place and hope that the publisher is taking manuscripts at that time.
    However, the work has to be done in the first place by ensuring the best possible product. Read; Redraft City.
    If only we could be given a slight insight into why the rejection took place.
    Nowhere else do we receive so little for so much.

  2. You will get something if you have an agent, but it’s unlikely if you don’t.

    If only we could pick when the “lucky” times are:)

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