September 28, 2020-Today, I’ve taken a page out of my book Advice from a Publisher (Insider Secrets to Getting Your Work Published) to talk about Synopsis’. This is critical info if you want a shot at being published!
How to write a synopsis: Do you want to know what will make a publisher absolutely lose their mind and throw their laptop onto their front lawn? Read on to find out. No, I don’t mean read on to find out; I mean, when authors say, “Read the book to find out!” Let me explain: The job of a synopsis is to tell the publisher what happens in your book from beginning to end. It’s a snippet of the big picture and gives us the information that we need to know. If you remember from the previous chapter, How to Properly Query, you’ll know that a query letter is a sales pitch. A synopsis is an overview of your book which allows the publisher to identify any major problems with your manuscript, lets us determine if your book is a good fit, and helps us decide if your work is exciting, intriguing, and fresh enough to publish.
Your synopsis must include:
The main character and why we should care about them. What is at stake, and what motivates this character to take action?
The conflict. How does the main character succeed or fail in dealing with the conflict?
Conflict resolution? How is the conflict resolved, and has the character changed or learned anything? THIS IS THE ENDING! DO NOT PUT READ ON TO FIND OUT because your letter will be recycled, and you’ll never hear from us again. Seriously, this drives us crazy.
Summarize each scene or every chapter. This will take way too long, and you must get your summary across quickly and concisely.
Write this with the tone of a book jacket or back cover. It’s not a marketing piece for readers that builds excitement.
Make your synopsis longer than one page.
Get weighed down with specifics such as supporting character names, detailed settings, and descriptions.
Talk about character back story. We don’t need to know, and frankly, we don’t care. Yes, even for you sci-fi writers, leave it out!
Get wordy. Don’t use eight words when four will do.
For examples of good and lousy synopsis’ check out chapter 7 in my Amazon Number 1 Best Seller book found here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/advice-from-a-publisher-insider-secrets-for-getting-your-work-published/
Insider Secret: Write your synopsis in the third person narrative even if your manuscript is told in first person. Write in the present tense and remind the publisher of the category and genre of your work. Reveal EVERYTHING and never use; it was all a dream endings or beginnings.
Best of luck! I can’t wait to read your work.