So, you’ve successfully completed your manuscript. Congratulations! But now the tedious and time-consuming process of publishing begins. You probably already know that you need to research suitable literary agents and write a query letter. If you’re particularly savvy, you may also know that you can order a list of relevant agents or publishers and get a professionally written query letter to increase your chances of success.
The next step is writing a book synopsis. When an agent likes your query letter, he or she will request a book synopsis to learn more about your book. The job of a synopsis is to persuade agents that your manuscript deserves to be published, so you want to pique their interest and prove to them that your manuscript is well written and well structured.
The synopsis also serves as an example of your writing skills. Choose every word with care; the idea is to write clearly and concisely, so avoid ornate prose that obscures your meaning. And since grammatical errors and typos will make you look careless and unprofessional, consider hiring a professional editor to edit and proofread this important document.
The best way to learn how to write a book synopsis is to study a well-written synopsis example. To get you started, we’ve included a synopsis example below for the novel Yasmine.
Synopsis example for Yasmine
The synopsis example begins by introducing the protagonist, Yasmine, and providing background information about her and the theme of the book. The second paragraph summarizes the events from Yasmine’s childhood and adolescence that formed her identity as an adult. Although this paragraph is short, it is packed with information and paints a vivid picture of Yasmine and her motivations and dreams.
The third paragraph of our synopsis example outlines the development of the major conflict in the story. It introduces a few key characters—the example of Dumont is particularly important for Yasmine—and describes the protagonist’s feelings during this difficult period.
The next paragraph of the example synopsis describes Yasmine’s life back in her home country, and it shows the resolution of some conflicts and the growth of Yasmine as a character. This paragraph reiterates a key theme of the novel: immigration.
Finally, in the last paragraph, a new plot twist emerges and the resolution of all conflicts is revealed. Note that the book synopsis reveals the ending to show prospective literary agents that the overall storyline is solid.
Writing a synopsis may not be easy, but by following the tried-and-true format you can maximize your chances of success. The format provided by the example synopsis for Yasmine is effective because it’s concise and well written and it includes essential information without wasting space on trivial details. Using this synopsis example as a guide, you should be able to write a book synopsis that brings you one step closer to becoming a published author.
What if you haven’t been asked for a book synopsis yet? Chances are, your query letter isn’t doing its job and piquing the interest of relevant agents. If you’re struggling to drum up interest with your current letter, don’t worry—get the professionals to write a top-notch query letter, and before you know it, agents will be asking you for a book synopsis.