Friday, March 18, 2011

Which Synopsis Tickles Your Fancy?

Yesterday, my manservant Google and I were having a fine chat in the drawing room. Through our profound conversation, I discovered that The Mapmaker and the Ghost is listed in Bloomsbury's rights catalogue that they will be presenting at the Bologna Book Fair at the end of this month. The Bologna Book Fair is pretty renowned in the publishing industry and is where a lot of foreign rights are bought and sold.

1) Foreign rights mean my book could be bought in multiple languages, with kids all over the world reading it. That is...let's go with exciting. Yup, I'm excited. That's a benign enough word, right? You're not scared? Okay, good.

2) I found out the month in which my book is--as of now--slated to come out. It's April 2012 (which is still part of Bloomsbury/Walker's Winter season).

3) I found the book synopsis that I think my editor must have written. And it's awesome. It's also really strange that someone else wrote a synopsis of my work. And also, awesome. You know why? I've never been very good at shortening down the gist of my story into a few sentences (nor a few words, apparently, hence the neverending title debacle).

I have a synopsis on my website that I wrote and now I have this one, too. My question is, which one makes you want to pick the book up more? I'm asking because I'm thinking about replacing mine with the "official" house version.

Here's the site version:

Eleven-year-old Goldenrod is starting her summer vacation grounded. Not only that but her best friend, and usual partner-in-exploration, has moved away and left her to deal with the upcoming ordeal of middle school all by herself. Determined to persevere in the face of such tragic adversity—and become a Legendary Adventurer like her heroes Lewis and Clark—Goldenrod sets out to make the most accurate map her town has ever seen. What she doesn't bargain for is a true blue adventure involving a gang of brilliant troublemakers, a mysterious and very ugly old lady, and an exceedingly unexpected questmaster.

Here is Bloomsbury/Walker's version:

Goldenrod Moram loves adventure, especially when it comes in the form of mapmaking. An avid fan of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, she decides to start her own exploring team, the Legendary Adventurers, and to spend her summer vacation discovering the unmapped forest right behind her home. This simple task is complicated by a series of unique events--a chance encounter with a mysterious old lady has her searching for a legendary blue rose. Another, more unfortunate, encounter lands her in the middle of a ragtag bunch of nicknamed ruffians. Throw in the trapped spirit of Meriwether Lewis himself and her well-meaning but nuisance of a little brother, and Goldenrod Moram is in for the quest of a lifetime...

What do you think? Vote in the poll below and feel free to let me know your reasoning in the comments!

Which synopsis makes you want to read the book more?


  1. I think I really like the second one (Bloomsbury/Walker's) - mostly because it grabs me quick and pulls me in. It sounds like an adventure I'd want to be part of!

    The first one is fun, and I feel like I can relate to it well, but I really like how the the second one leaves me wanting to learn more and get involved in the adventure!

  2. The first reads to me like a teaser, with a bit more mystery, while the second is almost what I'd expect to read in a review -- it gives a little more away, and is almost a little spoilery (Lewis is the ghost? no way!). But I think the second also gives a little better feel for what I can expect out of the book, and those specifics suck me in a little better. So unless you want to be a little coy about what's going to happen, I'd say #2.

  3. Thanks Chas & Bryan. I agree with both of you on this. I do think the second one gives more away in the plot, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that's what will end up on the book jacket. Plus I think it strikes a better balance of giving enough away to make a reader interested but still wanting to read to find out more.