Why a synopsis is NOT a book promo release.

Yesterday, I wrote about the synopsis and some of the pitfalls that many experience when writing one. A synopsis is a clearly defined, short punchy precis of the novel (or work) that tells the premise of the main characters, plot, obstacles to be overcome/goal to be achieved, and most importantly, the ending with details of any last minute twists.

A synopsis is aimed at publishers and editors so that they will leap on the work and offer you a nice juicy publishing contract. Therefore they need the whole story and nothing but the whole story, but in 500 words or at most 2 pages. That is an art in itself.

A book promo release is not the same, far from it. A book promo release is there to entice readers to pick up your book, scan the front and back cover and decide “Yes” I am going to pay money to read this.

A book promo must therefore be the nice big juicy carrot on string and should tell of the main character, the setting and the plot and give a hint or lead in as to the way and how the hero or heroine is going to deal with and hopefully ultimately overcome the problem at hand.

What skills are they going to use? Is there risk in what they are going to do? Is it within or outside the law? Do they get help from an unexpected source? All of these things are to be hinted at in such a way that the book is compelling to the reader. Can the reader relate to the hero (or heroine)? Does the plot sound believable?

These are thing that will either encourage a reader or put them off. If you have written a period drama, then it is probably not a good idea for there to be an invasion of Martians three pages from the end that tip everything up on its head. That doesn’t work.

But, having our period drama heroine find something at the bottom of the grounds down by the lake and when she gets the handsome gardener’s son to help her dig it up and they find the key to an alien craft, now that may be believable if the rest of the story takes off from there. Who is this heroine? Why is she doing this? Is she somehow a child of the union of said Martian and handsome gardener’s father? Now that may be a story that works, because it will flow.

Add in a few Mr Darcy moments and several heaving bosoms and you are away.

The synopsis will tell you if she is the child of the Martian and how she managed to work it out. The promo release will entice you to want to find out how the gardener son, the heroine and the Martian’s fit together and how people will deal with it by appealing to their senses.

There is a big difference.




About purpleandrew

Andrew, recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is a 54 year old former geologist always had short hair, suited & booted for work. That all changed when the credit crunch hit. Now a complimentary therapist, hospital radio presenter, and writer. Andrew writes crime thrillers, Young Adult, and fantasy books as well as blogging about writing and other stuff that he feels strongly about.
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