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A synopsis is a vital part of a book's marketing as it gives the reader a glimpse of the story. For a writer, writing a book is undoubtedly as gratifying as giving birth to a baby. A writer gives words to his thoughts and ideas. He creates a whole new world, new characters, their struggles, and a new message. It is a fulfilling experience when you reach the completion of your labor of love! And then begins the crucial stage - preparation for the marketing of the book. Marketing indeed is critical as well as a stressful step as it helps in attracting readers. After all, the reader is the ‘be all and end all’ for a writer. He/She aspires to win their hearts and earn compliments from them. And a book requires a good marketing strategy to catch the interest of his or her target viewers. And synopsis is the most vital cog in this wheel.


A synopsis is a comprehensive view that gives the reader a general idea about the story. It summarizes the entire story from the beginning to the end in a short paragraph. This is why we read the back cover before buying a book, don’t we? We get to know about the theme, the characters, setting, and a mysterious twist in the tale - “Richard met Rene on a railway platform and fell head over heels in love with her beauty and intelligence. They got married and lived happily until one day in the dark of night, the residents of Skylark Apartments were shocked because Richard falls from the balcony of his 13th floor flat. Lying in a pool of blood, all he could utter was…Rene!” And this is adequate to kindle one's curiosity in the novel. We become willing to shell out the bucks from the pocket to buy it. This is what a writer wants to see. He/She wants to see readers vying to buy their book. The reader is the special guest every writer wants to invite.


For the Publisher -

A synopsis is essential for a publisher. The publisher looks for a book that can engage the readers and become an instant hit with them. He wants to put his hand in a lucrative business only. Therefore, he expects his writer to write a book that carries all these qualities. It must be well written, engaging, and must attract the attention of the readers. And a synopsis is the perfect tool in this regard. The summary conveys the publisher about the subject, genre, and characters and informs him about the writer's point of view and the story's message.

These days the Publishing houses do not ask for direct submission of the book from the writer. They are no more interested in the whole work, but they demand the synopsis, cover letter, and sample chapters. It is enough to help them get acquainted with the storyline and determine whether the book has the ingredients to become successful. Therefore, if a writer really wants to get his book published, he must write a good synopsis.


Unique Features of a Book Synopsis - Given here are a few things one must include while writing a book synopsis -

1. Narrative Arc - It is the term used to describe the construction of the plot of the story in chronological order. A book consists of three parts - a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning reveals the background while the middle gives birth to a conflict, and the future is the time of resolution where the arc comes to completion. A ‘Narrative Arc’ is basically a summary of a book. It has five main elements -

Exposition - Here, the writer describes the background of the story. It is the time of introducing new characters as well as the specific period. At the same time, he also describes the circumstances prevalent during the era. 

Rising Action - Next, time for rising action! At this moment, the circumstances begin to hot up and lead towards the conflict. It is what makes the readers suddenly sit up and take notice of the situation.

Climax - This is the high point of a story and the end, we all wait for! Some readers are so impatient that they wish to read the climax first! The moment of glory and the moment that makes a writer sparkle in the eyes of a reader! The time of good winning over evil. It is the time where truth beacons! The villain has to bear the brunt of the hero! There is also a saying that a writer is as good as his climax!

Falling Action - This is the time of silence after the storm. It leads us towards the end. Here the writer discloses what happens as a result of the climax. All the problems that arose because of the conflict get sorted.

Resolution - So we arrive at our destination, the point for which we began our journey. The end is where our heart lies! It does not need to be happy only, but this brings us to the story's completion.

Therefore, in the ‘Narrative Arc,’ the writer must summarize the story, including all the above points. It is the clarity of your ‘Narrative Arc’ that attracts the reader.


2. Characterization - The characters are the soul of a story. After all, it is the characters that stay in the memory of the readers like Harry Potter, Hamlet, or Robinhood. The readers identify with a lovable character, and they laugh and cry with him. Many times, they keep thinking about him days after completing a book. Therefore, a character plays a crucial role in a synopsis, as the readers instantly get attracted to a cast. A scene's impact depends upon how intensely a specific character reacts to a particular character or situation. So, a good synopsis must present this intensity of the character to be successful.

3. Conflict - No synopsis is complete without a conflict. The cause may be obsessed with a character or situational, but it is the story's crux. We often feel cheated as a reader when the tension is not as impressive or not well described! It is essential to describe the conflict in a synopsis to catch the imagination of the reader. It is unnecessary to give each detail, but a short paragraph would be enough to provide the reader with a chance to pick up the book.

4. Point of View - A book is the writer's baby that he writes with immense love. He works hard to develop the novel from the beginning to the end. He eats, sleeps, and lives in his story. Therefore, the writer must share his point of view. It is the time when the writer has the chance to go down memory lane! It must describe: - 

Background - The writer should share with the readers how he thought of writing his book. Any moment or any person who inspired him to write the book! He must give any interesting anecdote that occurred during this project. 

Thoughts - The writer must share his ideas with readers like what he thought about the story, any specific trait of a character that appealed to him, or why a particular character behave that way! 

Moral or Message of the Book - In the end, he must enlighten the readers about the book's message. Every writer has a message to give to his readers, which is why he takes up writing. He must discuss this message with the readers. It is the moral of the story that makes his effort meaningful. 


Short & Sweet - A synopsis should be short and sweet. The readers are more interested in learning about the high points of the story. It must have just 500 to 700 words. It should be brief, to the point, and must include the personal element of the writer. 

Conclusion - A Synopsis must attract the reader and inform him about what he should expect from the book. As far as a Non-Fiction book is concerned, a synopsis must outline how it solves the reader's problem. It must specify the importance of the topic of the book. And lastly, the writer must indicate his expertise in the subject of the book. A synopsis is the gateway of the book. Hence, the writer must be careful while writing an outline. He must be clear about the story and the characters, for it is the writer who should first be clear and convinced about his book before trying to convince the readers. Once a writer is sure about his story and has all the chapters etched in his mind, it would take him no time to write a good synopsis. A Synopsis is also a great way to relive the moments of joy, stress, and struggle that a writer spent dressing up his beloved masterpiece. So, write the synopsis and get set to charm your readers.

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