Book Synopsis: Write One that SellsPosted: June 8, 2016
Selling Your Book Once Your Mom and Friends all Bought
OK, you got your book done. Edited. Up at KDP and CreateSpace. Your mom bought it. A few of your Facebook friends picked it up as well. (What’s with Doris? She is such a cheapskate! Couldn’t part with $2.99 and asked for a “complementary” version. Just unfriend her, she’s kinda a bitch anyway.)
To sell your book effectively, you want to do many things: Get people to help you promote, get “noticed” on Amazon as a best seller in your category, get placed in bookstores like a “real” book. One of the first things, however, is to create a synopsis or “blurb” for the back cover and for Amazon’s description.
Your Synopsis Should Be Carefully Thought Out
For many self-published authors, the “blurb” is an afterthought, a necessary evil in putting up their book online. But you’re smarter than that, right? Yeah, I thought so.
Dr. Meg is in the process of publishing her fourth book. Over the last few days she has been writing and refining her synopsis. She even wrote a funny blog post about creating a book synopsis here.
Here is the blurb she settled on for her new book, Tainted Inheritance:
Why would anyone want to kill Olivia Sutton? Her life was finally coming together after her divorce. She's come into an unexpected inheritance, found new love with contractor Leo Donovan and made a fresh start in a new home. When she becomes the victim of one too many random accidents, she realizes a killer is stalking her. Has something in her past come back to haunt her? And can she and Leo discover the killer’s secret before it’s too late?
Let’s break this down to show you how to create a compelling synopsis for your own book.
Your synopsis or “blurb” should create a mystery in the mind of the prospective buyer that can only be answered by reading the book
Meg’s blurb does a good job of framing the main conflict in the story: Someone is trying to kill her and she has no clue why. She has to find out before it’s too late – before the killer succeeds.
When you write your own synopsis, you should look for what some people refer to as “open loops.” Humans’ brains are “programmed” to look for answers to mysteries. That’s why you keep seeing those headlines like:
“This Indiana man found one weird trick to curing hemorrhoids –
proctologists hate him!”
You think: “Hey, I have hemorrhoids, and I hate going to the proctologist! What could this simple trick be?” and you click the link.
If your book is about hemorrhoids, that might work for you. On the other hand, your book is probably a story about sparkling vampires who are also professional soccer (football) players or a sorcerer with an elf fetish (I don’t judge.) Your synopsis should summarize the major conflict of your book without giving the reader resolution.
In Meg’s case it would have been a mistake to end her blurb by saying “but she eventually figured it out and lived happily ever after.”
Your synopsis should appeal to the prospective reader’s interests
Know your intended audience. Think about things they are looking for in your story. (You already figured that out before you started writing, right? RIGHT?)
Meg’s readers are looking for a little romance along with a compelling mystery/thriller. Her synopsis has an extremely important single word: “Contractor.”
Olivia’s love interest is a contractor. When I think of a contractor, I think of a smelly, pot-bellied man who bends over and shows your his hairy butt crack. But that’s me. When it comes to romance novels written for women, they picture a guy with tan skin, tall, heavily muscled with a strong jaw – and maybe a beard.
That one word gives the prospective reader a picture of this hunky guy. Who, surprisingly, looks much like I do in real life (I know you were wondering.)
Your synopsis might want to define the genre
It’s clear from Meg’s blurb, her book is a thriller/mystery as well as has some romance. It doesn’t mention it’s present day. If your book is present day, you don’t have to say that in the blurb. But what if you are doing a different era or setting?
For example: If Meg were writing historical fiction and this was set in the Civil War, a reader interested in such would probably pass it over unless she mentions that. Likewise, if it were set in the “boom-boom” 80s, she might want to mention that as well. John Grisham writes about lawyers and mentions that in his blurbs.
If you are writing for a specific genre, make sure to mention it…
“In the times of swords and sorcery…”
“At the close of World War I…”
“Caught up in the world of BDSM…”
You get the idea.
What’s Your Synopsis? Write one or paste one you already have done below – you can even link to your book in the comments
So write your own synopsis (or pull one you’ve already written) and share it below along with a link to your book or blog…
Plus…Meg is giving you a sneak peek of her book – click here now to get it send to your email.