Sunday, April 18, 2010

What do you think of the new M&B covers?

In Australia, HMB have changed the covers for the Sweet (Romance) lines - the line I'm targetting. Special Moments and Historicals have also been re-vamped, while the other lines remain the same.

My good friend Nikki Logan's debut romance was one of the first books with the new covers, and I think it's beautiful. The book - Lights, Camera... Kiss the Boss - is also awesome - I highly recommend it.

What I like most about the new covers, is that the paper and font has also changed. The paper is much thicker, and combined with the matt covers they just look to be of far higher quality. Also, as I'm not a fan of the clinch covers, they are far less embarrassing to carry around.

What I don't like so much, is that the author's name and the title can get a bit lost amongst the cover.

Anyway, I've noticed that Mills and Boon is running a survey, asking for reader feedback on the new covers: Cover Survey (link is at bottom left of the screen). You can win a year's subscription, so well worth taking the few minutes to respond.

What do you think? Do you like the new Aussie covers? Or do you prefer the old style?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Counting words and synopses

I've just added a couple of word count meter things to my blog - over there -->

Book 2's word count is rather pathetic - but that does include deleting a lot of Book 2 last week (but, let's be honest, I'm talking 1000s, not tens of thousands of words... I have been a bit slack).

The good news is that I do now have a synopsis for Book 2! I entered my first ever US contest, and a synopsis was needed. It's a rubbish synopsis in as far as how it is written (it's unjudged in this competition) but I'm pretty happy with the story. And amazed I managed to wrestle it down from nearly 3000 words to 1200 to meet the contest requirements :)

I still need to work with it a LOT more, and I'm sure it will evolve as the story is written, but it's so exciting to have a road map. For years I thought I was a pantser, but I failed dismally at that. Sadly while I can pants cute scenes, I certainly can't pants compelling, emotional, believable motivations and conflicts. Damn!

So plotting it is for me. For Book 1, it wasn't until I wrote the synopsis (after it had taken me nearly two years to write the first 5 chapters) that I was able to actually finish the book - and then it only took a couple of months. Knowing exactly what is coming next seems to help strangle my ever present doubt demons.

So - what are you - plotter or pantser? And is there anyone else out there who - like me - finds the dreaded synopsis actually (gasp!) helpful?