What’s a perfect book synopsis? Well, there’s no such thing. Every book has its own unique selling points that must be featured in the book synopsis if you plan to connect with your reader.

There are, however, a few key things that should be included in each synopsis for the best possible results. Any time someone makes a decision to buy something, they want to know what’s in it for them (commonly called WIIFM in the sales world). Your synopsis should answer that question.

Certainly you should be sure that your synopsis includes information about your book. While writing it, though, make sure that it isn’t stuffed with information about your book and nothing about what the reader will get from it.

Here are a few example WIIFM statements from a few of the most popular genres (any title mentions are not intentional – these titles were all made up while writing this post):

  • Fiction/Children’s: Bobo and the Bunny will teach your children about teamwork in a delightfully entertaining way.
  • Self-Help: Overcoming a Severe Eating Disorder reveals practical solutions to overcoming both overeating and issues such as bulimia and anorexia.
  • Business & Economics: Bootstrapping Your Business helps cash-strapped business owners learn how to stay afloat in a troubled economy.
  • Fiction/General: In The Wind Blows East, you follow Jesse on her journey to find love in all the wrong places.

After you provide a decent WIIFM statement (ideally at the beginning of your synopsis), you must go into the Who (who is your main character), What (what are they doing), When (when does the story take place), Where (where does the story take place), and Why (why is the character doing what they are doing). If you follow that “rule of thumb”, you will most likely be able to come up with a good synopsis for your book.

Have you already written the “perfect” book synopsis and all ready to start self-publishing your own book?

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2 thoughts on “Perfecting Your Book Synopsis

  1. Hi, Patricia:

    You must make sure you include your target audience in your synopsis – not everyone 10+ will enjoy your work so cater to that audience. Are you wanting to go after a group of environmentalists who can show the book to family/friends? Are you wanting to go after people who don’t necessarily have “environmentally-friendly” behaviors but want to change their ways? You have to decide who your true target audience is. Then write your WIIFM statement from their perspective.

    One other thing – I looked at your book on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Olivias-Magic-Conch-P-Zimmerman/dp/1436336481) and didn’t see a synopsis at all for your book. You’re missing out a bit there.

    Did you want to talk to one of our Personal Marketing Assistants? We can get you going in the right direction and make sure you stay moving toward your target audience. You can learn more here: http://outskirtspress.com/p/pma.

  2. I agree with all you have stated and for the most part is included in my synopsis. I have a dilemma and I need your advice. My book, Olivia’s Magic Conch/ A Mystical Modern Day Fable is published by me and xlibris, in hard cover and paperback. I now have it on kindle as well. If you think of a fable you think ‘young’ but this fable has no age boundaries other then age 10 and up, because it is written to make kids and adults aware of the potential danger to sand, birds, fish, ecosystems and even people from trash left on the beaches. It is reported 60,000.000 lbs is removed yearly.
    So the story line is real people, real situations, funny, sad, adventurous and…educational in a non textbook way; with the integration sea life giving their opinions and thoughts on what the ocean gives to us. Pure enjoyment that leaves a gentle message in the hearts and minds of all who read it. But it is out there as a Childrens Book. More adults have read and reviewed it. Teens into Vampires and Goth will not buy it. Too young will not understand it What do I do? Thank you( P. A. Zimmerman) Patricia

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