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Descriptions Matter

January 28, 2021- What’s the first thing we do when we pick up a book? We flip it over to read the back cover. Why do we do this? Because we want to know what’s inside! Hopefully the description of the story  intrigues us and helps us make a buying decision. How you write your book description can make or break your best selling author status! Think of your book description as a teaser for a movie. Here’s how to write a great description that can entice people to buy your book:

  1. Ask a question-Asking a question to your reader on the back cover, immediately engages your audience. For example, for my book Obsessed with Her, I posed the question, What would you do if your child was missing? How far would you go to find out what happened to her? The reader will personally and internally answer these questions on the spot! If my child was missing, I would go out of my mind, I would be beside myself. I would do whatever it takes to find her. What happened to the child? What if they never find her? I need to know and I need to read this book! See how that worked? A question posed will never go unanswered.  Obsessed with Her: Amazon.ca: Colling, L. L.: Books
  2. Leave them hanging-Give your potential reader a tiny taste of what’s in the book. My biggest pet peeve is when movie trailers give up all their best parts in the trailer; it’s so disappointing when we’ve already seen the ‘meat’ of the movie this way. Don’t make the same mistake with your book description, give your audience just enough to leave them wanting more. Here’s a great example from the book Machinia-Cybersecurity officer Damon Maxwell wakes from cryogenic sleep expecting to be ten years into his future but instead finds himself in the robot ruled empire of Machinia, 2156! Welcomed by Machinia’s omnipotent leader, the Universal, Damon learns that his extraordinary journey is part of a complex plan by the Universal to bait Machinia’s deadly enemy, the Underground into action. But the Universal’s brilliant robot aide, Nepcar, fears his leader’s dangerous scheme and pairs Damon with the beautiful and mysterious Cynthia Lhan hoping their union can prevent a catastrophe. Yet, even as the Universal’s plans fall into place an enigmatic figure appears in Damon’s life that even the mighty Universal is powerless to control. Will Damon ultimately be the destroyer of the robot race or its saviour? Machinia: Amazon.ca: Moscarella, Paul A., Goubar, Alex: Books
  3. Brief Synopsis– Could you imagine reading a book with no description? That would certainly be an odd experience! A brief synopsis of the book let’s your reader decide if they are interested enough about what’s inside to buy the book. Here’s my book Becoming James Cass as an example: It’s business as usual for James Cass, who is a doctor, a father, a husband, and a murderer. With a penchant for prostitutes and an appetite for alcohol, his life spirals out of control, one terrifying event at a time. Will he ever be able to atone for his sins? Or will his demons drag him to his grave? Becoming James Cass: Amazon.ca: Colling, L.L., Goubar, Alex: Books

The methods above work for every genre from kids books to thrillers and everything in between. When describing you book ensure that it’s intriguing to you too; always read the description from your reader’s perspective-you’ll instantly know if it works or not. We’re wrapping up Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House tomorrow, thanks to everyone who joined us during this exciting course, we hope you enjoyed it!

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Advice From A Publisher

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.

DO NOT:

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.

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One-Page Synopsis…keep it short!

June 29, 2018- I get a ton of manuscript submissions and one thing I usually ask for is a synopsis of the story. It saves me a ton of time and allows me to decide whether or not I want to see more of the manuscript; there is a problem though, a lot of authors drag out their synopsis and make it too long. When submitting your work to a publisher, ensure that your synopsis is NEVER longer than 1 page. If you can’t describe your work in 1 page, there’s a problem and you should go back and trim. The graphic below is a cool tool for authors wanting to submit. Good luck and Happy Writing!

How To Write A One-Page Synopsis – Writers Write

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Author Submissions

May 1, 2017- I get a lot of requests from authors in regards to taking a look at their manuscript, and while I’m more than happy to do so, I’ve decided to post some submission guidelines. Pandamonium Publishing House is a boutique publishing house that publishes up to ten titles a year of all types of fiction. Currently, we are at our max for the year regarding publishing but are still accepting submissions of fiction and non-fiction for all ages.

  • Please send a synopsis of your work (include the ending of the book) and please make it one page only. A synopsis is a brief summary of your book.
  • Please include the first five pages of your manuscript pasted into the BODY of your e-mail. I won’t open attachments unless they are from a trusted source.
  • Please allow 4-12 weeks for a response from me as this allows me the much needed time to accurately address your manuscript. I will send you a response either way via e-mail so remember to include your contact information!
  • Please don’t take anything personally. Sometimes I reject manuscripts for different reasons, maybe we’re at our maximum publishing quota for the year, maybe the story isn’t a great fit for our publishing house, perhaps there are too many errors within the manuscript. Whatever the reason, please don’t take it personally. Keep submitting and keep trying!

To send me a submission of your work following the guidelines above, e-mail me at pandapublishing8@gmail.com and include SUBMISSION in the subject line. I look forward to reading your submissions. Stay tuned for a future blog post about how to successfully get published.

LLB

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