Writing a synopsis has typically been my least favorite part of writing. It’s a necessary evil, of course, because you’ve got to be able to succinctly describe your book to potential readers. It’s difficult boiling thousands of words down into a synopsis (which is a key part to the overall blurb/product description). Bryan Cohen’s been making this process easier for authors for many months now. I used his Best Page Forward service to rework the blurb for my YA novella Flipping for Him. Along with that came a great cheat sheet for writing blurbs (which you can get if you sign up to his email list at BestPageForward.net).
Now, Bryan’s come out with a book that really gets to the heart of the matter–How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good. Yup, it’s a long title, but it’s exactly what you get.
I loved how the book makes the synopsis writing task seem like one of the easiest things ever. Bryan quickly breaks down what needs to be in a synopsis–and even more importantly, what shouldn’t be. Then Bryan gets into the nitty gritty of making the synopsis sound good and how to end it so that the reader is left with little choice but to buy the book. Once you’ve read the how-to, Bryan drives it all home with a step-by-step system to write the synopsis and then edit it down to the most essential, gripping elements. The book closes by putting the synopsis into it’s place among the four elements of the book blurb/description (there’s even a link in this chapter to get the cheat sheet that I mention above).
This book is something I’ll keep close by (much like I’m doing with Joanna Penn’s new book on author mindset) so it’s handy whenever I have to write s synopsis. I already have the cheat sheet on my desktop for descriptions and now I’ve got this to help beat back the feeling of dread when it’s time to write up this key marketing element for my stories. Thanks, Bryan for putting this book out there!