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The Best Way NOT to Sell Your Novel: Having a Crappy Synopsis

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Perhaps I should be the last person to talk about this issue, especially about yesterday’s post; however, this topic is still in need of discussion. While I am not out there to pitch the idea that I think I am one of the world’s best writer, I can say that a synopsis or, a pitch is one of the few things that makes people either want to buy the book or reject it. This is one of the methods I have used to continue  looking at the book or set the book aside. Although I would look at the first few pages just to make sure it’s not the synopsis that sucks, I am often confident that what the author says in his or her synopsis will always help the readers.

For starters, one of the few things that turn me away from reading a book is the amount of words used in a synopsis. Out of the multitude of ‘kindle freebies’ there are on the internet, the ones I set aside in the rejection pile are always the one-line synopsis. Are you kidding me here? Is that all you can say about your book? Never have I ever encountered something in my life where a book could just be summarized in a single sentence and keep the same amount of excitement for anyone to be willing to take a look at the work. How on earth does one accomplish that? It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that if the author has not taken the time to write something more than just a one-sentence pitch, he or she does not really have a good book.

The same can be said about the lengthiness of the pitch. No one wants to hear the novel’s plot summary; it’s just plain boring. Time after time, I have often read countless synopses where authors have relentlessly made lengthy summaries of their works where I feel like chucking the book aside without a thought; mostly because they read off like the spark notes to a novel that you swear you would never read. If the author’s novel is as smashing as you claim it to be, then why would put little or no effort to make a smashing synopsis? The synopsis is the ADVERTISEMENT of your book. In so many words, the author is selling himself to the reader by what he says.

The last if not the most irritating thing that drives me up the wall with lousy pitches or synopsis is this: telling everyone about your grammatical mistakes. Really? Are you this desperate to tell everyone that you (the author) are on a death wish? If there was something I would never do, it would be this: tell my readers that the novel has grammatical mistakes or that you fixed them. Errors will always occur over and over in books, but no one needs to know about their existence, especially when you are trying to sell your work.

If these elements are found in the synopsis, then book’s overall sell-ability will be quite problematic and perhaps an all time downer for the reader.



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