Tuesday, 31 July 2012

My Weekly's Easy Reads

I announced in a previous post that My Weekly were calling out for more pocket novelists. Well, I've just had an email from Maggie Seed, the pocket novels editor at My Weekly, explaining why. They are relaunching pocket novels as Easy Reads, publishing four a month, with a cover price of £1.99. There are four categories: Caress, Liaison, Intrigue and Suspense - details below. The flyer shows the books will have lovely modern covers which I suspect are designed to appeal to a younger readership. I think they look great! (Sadly I don't seem to be able to copy the flyer here or attach it. It's a PDF. If anyone knows how to attach PDFs to a blog let me know! Alternatively email me via the link above and I'll send it to you. Edited - Sally Q has attached the flyer on her blog which uses a different platform than this one, clearly better!)

Maggie says in her email: We are going to remove the branding and re-launch the novels in a special display unit on magazine shelves in October. We are planning to publish four a month, so I am going to need lots of new novels – many of them from the followers of Womagwriter, I hope!  (I hope so, too! Do let me know of your successes.)

Email entire manuscript (50,000 words) or synopsis and first 3 chapters to easyread@dcthomson.co.uk

I have emailed Maggie to ask if there'll be any change in the pay rate, and will let you know. Edited - I've heard back from Maggie. They are going to introduce a progressive pay rate where the pay goes up with each novel bought from a writer. I'm assuming (she didn't say) that the starting point will still be £300. This is very encouraging! 

Caress

Moving and enchanting reads that sweep the reader away to share in the developing romantic  relationship between a man and a woman.
What: Sweet romance, thrilling emotional drama
Who: Active, attractive, gorgeous heroes; attractive, feisty, unique heroines
When: Modern settings and dilemmas; also historical romance
How: Get our couple together dealing with an issue they hold dear, and see the sparks fly
Remember: Passion not pornography!

Liaison

Intense romantic drama, adult themes and relationships, “open door” compelling, modern reads for women
What: Thrilling, contemporary reads, for switched-on savvy women 
Who: Dangerously attractive, alpha men; passionate, real, modern women of any age
How: Storylines of temptation, desire, and modern dilemmas
When: Modern settings, today’s world
Please: Open door, and open-minded!

Intrigue

Detective, murder mysteries; clues and red herrings abound to puzzle and absorb the reader!
What: There’s been a murder – now gather the clues to solve the crime
Who: Detectives, amateur sleuths, police officers

Suspense

Thrilling, chilling psychological reads – the ones where the reader gasps – and then has to sleep with the light on! A real writing challenge.
What: Enthralling, absorbing, spine-chilling reads, that explore the dark corridors of the human mind in gripping drama



Edited: More details on exactly what Maggie wants in each category over on Sally's blog - here.

12 comments:

Patsy said...

Interesting to see they want a range of genres.

Sally Quilford said...

I've got the flyer on my blog, Womag. I didn't know if I could make it public until I saw your post this morning.

http://quillersplace.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/exciting-new-look-for-pocket-novels/

The new look is fantastic!

Sally Quilford said...

I've asked Maggie Seed to clarify some details of the new imprints. Her reply is on my blog.

http://quillersplace.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/news-from-maggie-seed-about-easy-reads/

Kath said...

Thanks, Womag. How does 50,000 words compare with an actual novel?

Sally Quilford said...

Kath, a full length novel for a traditional publisher is generally considered to be anything above 80k. 50k is more of a novella, but at the high end of novella writing (which can start from as low as 15k depending on individual publishers' guidelines).

Most Mills and Boon novels are around 50-55k, going up to 70-75k for the historical and intrigue lines.

I hope that helps to put it into perspective.

Kath said...

Thanks, Sally. Seems an awful lot of words to me - my max so far is 2,500!

Wendy's Writing said...

I think this might be my next project but so far have not written anything longer han 3,000 words.

Sally Quilford said...

Kath and Wendy, I hadn't written anyting above 3000 words when I first started writing pocket novels. Then I had to write 30k for My Weekly and that felt like climbing Mount Everest. Even more so when they upped the word count to 50k.

But you can do it. Just think of each chapter as an episode of a story, or even as a short story on its own but where there isn't a resolution yet. I've also written something on Planning and Plotting your novels on the Pocketeers blog which might be of some help http://thepocketeers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/plotting-and-planning-your-pocket-novel.html

And on my own blog this morning, I've written about what you can earn with your pocket novels after you've sold them to My Weekly or People's Friend, which might be of interest to those who worry about the low fee. http://quillersplace.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/selling-on-your-pocket-novels/

Wendy's Writing said...

Thank you, Sally, for that information. That is really useful. I shall have a look at what you've put on your blog.

Kath said...

Yes, thanks, Sally.

Tom said...

Thanks Sally and Womag for all the great information!

If you've written your 3 chapters and synopsis could you send that to Maggie without having completed the rest or will the entire manuscript be required immediately (i.e. with no time to write the rest after (hopefully) an acceptance?)

Tom

Sally Quilford said...

Tom, you don't have to have completed it before you send in your three chapters. You don't have to send the rest in immediately either if/when the editor says they'd like to see it. Just tell the editor that you need to complete it, then get it written as soon as possible. Of course, if it's seasonal, you will have to get your skates on a bit as they like them in about three months ahead of time, though they will give you a bit more time if they know it's coming.

I used to finish all mine before sending them in, as I was afraid I wouldn't be able to complete the story. Now, with a few under my belt, I just write the first three chapters and a synopsis, then complete it if/when the editor says they'd like to see the rest.