Put a Little Variety in Your Life: Try Publishing Fiction

August 1997
by Gail Farrelly

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Independent presses tend to emphasize nonfiction works, but publishing fiction can be lucrative. Fiction stays current for longer, so a market can be developed slowly and steadily. If you are already known for your nonfiction work, you have a ready “hook” to snag some publicity as well as readers for your fiction books. And the variety of working on fiction as well as nonfiction may give an extra spark of creativity to ALL your work.

Sometimes it’s easy to categorize yourself as one type of publisher—of nonfiction for example—and not realize that you may be setting unnecessary limits. Forget about those limits! They could be “limiting” your potential!

As a career academic in a business school, I had been used to writing nonfiction. I wrote numerous articles in accounting and finance and co-authored a book on corporate reputation. Several years ago, I decided to branch out and reinvent myself by trying my hand at fiction.

The result of extending my goals? In addition to academic articles, several different kinds of publications came into existence: a financial cartoon about risky investments, a fantasy tale about a Martian takeover of the stock market, and a mystery book about a murder at a finance convention. As you can see, I have continued to wear my finance cap as I ventured into fiction.

Here are some tips for nonfiction writers wanting to write some “fun” fiction:1. Rewrite a fairy tale and provide a message related to your nonfiction work.

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