• 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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Harper Voyager Guidelines for Digital Submission – Accepting Manuscripts from October 1st – October 14th, 2012!

Keen to become a Harper Voyager author? Here’s your chance to join the imprint that publishes some of the biggest names in fantastic fiction—George R. R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Richard Kadrey, Sara Douglass, Peter V. Brett and Kylie Chan—to name but a few.

For the first time in over a decade, Harper Voyager are opening the doors to unsolicited submissions in order to seek new authors with fresh voices, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and compelling storylines. So, if you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to read it!

We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. For more idea of the type of books we love to read and publish, check out our authors and their titles at our global blog: www.harpervoyagerbooks.com

Submissions for digital originals will be open for a limited two-week period from 1st to the 14th of October, 2012.

So, follow these easy guidelines and move one step closer to making your dreams come true …

How To Submit A Manuscript To submit, go to www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.

Due to time constraints, we will not be able to respond to every query. If you do not receive a response after three months, unfortunately that means your story is not right for us this time.

Submissions FAQ

How long does my book need to be? We are looking for full-length manuscripts only. A full-length manuscript needs to be more than 70,000 words, and ideally we are looking for manuscripts between 80,000–120,000 words.

Can I submit a manuscript that I am still working on? No. Please only submit full-length manuscripts that are completed and polished.

What font/margin/size should I use? Your formatting choices are up to you. As long as your manuscript is double-spaced and readable, it’s acceptable. We prefer Word or RTF, and legible, sans-serif fonts.

Can I submit more than one manuscript? Yes, you can enter more than one manuscript but you will need to fill out the form at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com for each submission separately. If your work is a trilogy or series, please only submit the first manuscript.

Can I submit someone else’s material? No. The manuscript must be your own original work.

Will you accept a manuscript even if the subgenre isn’t listed? Yes, on the submission form, choose “other” and write in your subgenre.

I’m an agent. Should I use this to submit my client’s manuscript? No, this submission form is for authors only. Agents should pitch and submit projects in the usual fashion.

Can I submit if my manuscript is under consideration with another publisher? No. Manuscripts that are being considered by other publishers are not eligible for submission.

Do you accept manuscripts that have been previously published, including self-published? Yes, we will consider work that has been previously published if the author has retained full volume rights or had full volume rights revert to them. Please provide the publication details.

I have submitted my book to Harper Voyager in the past and it has been declined. Can I resubmit? If a manuscript has previously been submitted and declined for Harper Voyager, please do not resubmit unless it has been extensively rewritten. You are welcome to submit other works, however.

Which editor should I address my submission to? There is no need to specify an editor. Your submission will be read by the global Voyager team in Australia, UK and US.

Will I be notified when my manuscript is submitted? Yes, you will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your submission. Please check your junk email filter for this automated email. If you do not receive an automatic response, please email us at voyagersubmissions@harpercollins.com with the title and date of your submission.

How long will you take to respond? Due to the volume of submissions, we will only be able to contact you if your project is the right fit. If you have not received a response in three months time, unfortunately your project wasn’t right for our current list.

Will there be any feedback? Unfortunately due to the volume of submissions we will not be able to provide individual feedback or comments on submissions.

Can I submit my manuscript after the deadline? We will be accepting submissions between 1st to the 14th of October, 2012. Unfortunately at the moment we cannot accept any late or early submissions outside of these times.

Will you publish my book into print? We are looking primarily for e-only titles. There is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Harper Voyager Digital

Why is Harper Voyager embarking upon a digital publishing program? Why now? We believe the timing is perfect for Harper Voyager to publish digitally. We’ve already been publishing digital originals from our existing Harper Voyager authors, and are thrilled to expand this wider to welcome new authors and voices to Harper Voyager. The growth of eReaders and e-books have created an exciting new opportunity that allows us to begin increasing the number and diversity of our speculative fiction list. And speculative fiction readers are the most savvy early adopters so we’re keen to provide our readers with the best ebooks possible.

How is the Harper Voyager digital list different from Harper Voyager Books? Harper Voyager has a long history of publishing fantastic speculative fiction, including authors like Robin Hobb, Ray Feist, George R.R. Martin, Kim Harrison, Kylie Chan, Richard Kadrey, Fiona McIntosh, Peter Brett and Sara Douglass: our editorial staff and sales/marketing/publicity force are highly respected, and Harper Voyager authors benefit from those existing talents, platforms, and relationships.

The Voyager digital list is growing from our existing publishing program. We’re always looking for ways to grow our authors in a marketplace rife with new opportunity. We see the digital list as a fantastic opportunity to find exciting new writers and reach more readers than ever before.

Our enthusiastic editorial team acquires content for both our print and digital lists and are passionate genre fans. The Harper Voyager digital lists offer similar benefits to authors as the print list: each Harper Voyager e-book will receive a distinctive cover treatment. Authors will receive the benefit of editorial structural and copyediting advice from experienced editors. During the publication cycle, the books will receive support from Harper Voyager’s marketing and publicity professionals; and the e-books will benefit from our proven, strong relationships with all e-book channels and online retailers.

How many titles per month will you release? Currently, we are looking to acquire enough content to release a new Harper Voyager digital title each month.

Where will Harper Voyager’s digital titles be sold? Will Harper Voyager e-books be distributed globally? Every Harper Voyager digital contract will include World English language distribution, so we can deliver these e-books everywhere around the world where English-language novels are sold.

Our Harper Voyager e-books will be available at every e-retailer, and readers will be able to download them onto every portable reading device and platform sold today … and tomorrow, too.

What is the submission process? Where can I find the Submission Guidelines? All non-agented manuscripts should be submitted at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com. Please note the detailed instructions on submission guidelines before sending your documents electronically.

You can find our submission guidelines at www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com as well.

What types of submissions is Harper Voyager interested in? Voyager is looking for authors with a fresh voice, strong storytelling abilities, original ideas and a compelling storyline. If you believe your manuscript has these qualities, then we want to see it!

We’re actively seeking speculative fiction genres, especially epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia, supernatural and YA.

Can existing Harper Voyager authors also submit to Harper Voyager digital? Of course!

If a debut author is published under the Harper Voyager digital imprint; is there a chance to be published in print as well? Yes, there is the possibility that submissions will be published in print as well.

Will my work be copyrighted? Each title receives individual copyright, retained by the author, as is the norm for all Harper Voyager titles.

Is Harper Voyager publishing fiction only? Yes, we are only looking for speculative fiction manuscripts.

Will manuscripts be edited and copyedited before publishing? Yes. Just as with our print titles, each Harper Voyager digital project will be assigned to an individual Voyager editor, and will go through a comprehensive content and copyediting process.

Will Harper Voyager titles benefit from Voyager Publicity and Marketing? Yes. We will support our digital Harper Voyager titles with comprehensive publicity/marketing campaigns, marketing each title, using the digital landscape to strongly support this fantastic line of digital-first publications.

Is Digital Harper Voyager a Custom/Vanity Publisher? No. In acquiring for Harper Voyager digital, we carefully curate submissions and edit accepted manuscripts in the same fashion as all of our Harper Voyager titles. The digital list will benefit from Voyager’s editorial, marketing, publicity and sales platforms. And getting all these services at no cost to the author is the benefit of publishing with Harper Voyager.

Our digital original submission period is only open from 1 October through 14 October, 2012, so visit www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com and move one step closer to your Voyager dreams.

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Fallon Friday: Why manuscripts are rejected – Jennifer Fallon

Manuscripts are rejected for any number of reasons, and not all of them because of the writing.

They can be rejected because of:

  • Inappropriate subject matter (you sent your horror epic to Harlequin)
  • Litigation concerns (I slept with George Dubya, but I don’t have the dress to prove it…)
  • Insufficient funds – budgetary constraints (it’s the end of the financial year, we’ve run out of money and your agent is asking for a seven figure advance)
  • Lack of author credibility (this applies mostly to non-fiction – unless you’re a world authority on the subject, your brilliant dissertation on the “Chemical Composition of Belly Button Fluff” probably won’t get a look in)
  • Bad timing – You need to send in your hilarious children’s Christmas story in February, not December – it takes a minimum of 9 months and probably longer to publish a book
  • Too long (300,000 word romances rarely make it off the sludge pile. Actually, 300,000 word anything, tends to be doomed)
  • Too short (40,000 word fantasies won’t be considered for the adult market – publishers want a minimum of 130,000 words)
  • Someone else (perhaps an established author) sent in a MS on exactly the same topic last month and they bought it
  • Brilliant writing – terrible plot
  • Terrible writing – brilliant plot (see note below.)
  • The publisher is not accepting unsolicited manuscripts
  • Author is known to be difficult to work with
  • Last work by this author only sold 4 copies (and they were bought by his mum)
  • Unoriginal, cliched and done to death.
  • Too original… (no adjectives… no letter “e”…”I’ve written my whole story without using the word ‘the’…” etc)
  • The girl in accounting didn’t like it

Frequently, it is not the editor who picks up your MS in the first instance. My agent often employs an outside “reader” to wade through the sludge pile, as do quite a few publishers. It might be one of the secretaries, the IT guy, even the tea lady, who reads your MS and then, having read it, goes back to the editor and says, “you should look at this – it was great!” or “see what you think – but I thought it was dreadful…”

The editor will glance through it after that, and might decide differently, but the chances are, if the girl in accounting who loves romances reads your romance MS first and didn’t like it, you’ll soon have it back in the mail with a photocopied rejection slip.

This may seem cruel and arbitrary, but it makes very good sense. If your book ever hits the shelves, it won’t be well-trained editors who pay cold hard cash for it; it will be all the regular people (like the girl in accounting) who buy it. Editors use the resources around them to filter out the junk. If you can’t appeal to the girl in accounting who is a good example of the market for your work, the publisher isn’t going to waste time or money publishing it.

The chances are that if you have submitted your MS yourself, you may never know why it was rejected. If your agent submitted the MS, you have a much better chance of getting some feedback.

A final on the subject of terrible writing – brilliant plot. It’s not enough to be able to write well. You have to be able to “tell a story” and the two skills are quite different and often it’s not the writing it’s the storytelling that lets a writer down.

Jennifer Fallon’s next set of Fallon Friday posts will be a three part series dispelling some of the myths around getting published. Look out next Friday … and the Friday after that … and the Friday after that, for some very good advice.

Click here to visit Jennifer’s website.