Whether you are writing a novel, memoir, or biography, when submitting your manuscript, you must include a one page synopsis of the book.
I submitted a manuscript with a synopsis in March for the first time. Similar to query letters, I am not the most experienced at this. I had the opportunity to show my synopsis to a professional editor who helped me clean it up. However, I’m still working on building my confidence with this process and continuing to learn more about it.
Here are the basic things I learned during the synopsis writing process:
Begin with the log line and elevator pitch/hook for your book.
Mention what type of book you have written (Memoir/Novel/Biography/etc.) in the beginning.
Talk about your characters. Who are the protagonists and antagonists in your book?
Go in depth with the book summary. Include the story arch so agents know that your story is going somewhere.
In the summary discuss the setting(s)- locations, time periods, seasons, etc. so the agent gets a clear idea of the environment the story is set in.
Include the conclusion of the story- don’t leave the agent hanging. They want to know the entire story before investing in you.
This is the basic format I stick to in my synopsis. As I said earlier, I’m still working on developing this skill. If you have any advice, suggestions, or personal experience about this part of the publishing process, please share with me in the comments! You can also contact me through the website for a one-on-one conversation.
I used several resources from the internet to help figure out this process. One useful resource I found was “How to Create a Synopsis for Comics.” Even though it’s meant for writing comics, it can be applied to any book. It does a good job of breaking down the process and also has a free downloadable synopsis template at the end!