the art of the synopsis

Swan Lake

I’d like to think I’m pretty good at writing synopses?for other people’s books. At least, I’ve done paid work writing text for the backs of book jackets.

But when it comes to writing teaser synopsis text for my own books? I don’t want to say that I outright suck at it, because, you know, there is actual sentence structure there and everything. My subjects and verbs agree, and I understand the rules of punctuation. But I don’t know that I’m really doing my stories justice.

The point of the back cover text (“book description” for ebooks) is to give a prospective reader a glimpse into what they can expect within a book’s pages, and to entice them into giving it a shot. You don’t want to give away the whole story?just enough to “sell” the book.

Maybe I’m too worried about leaving something out, and I end up making the plot sound too complicated. To be fair, my plots are fairly complicated, but these are threads that are all woven together in such a way that’s not overwhelming for the reader. I also don’t want to gloss over the action in the book and make the story sound too thin or unsubstantial. It’s tricky.

I’d like to revisit the descriptive text for both Valhalla and Iduna’s Apples. I can take a look at reviews of the books, and comments that readers have made. But I’m also open to suggestions.

Indie authors, what are your strategies for writing winning book cover text?

Creative Commons photo from _cobb.

Posted in writing & publishing.

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