I’ll never complain about writing a synopsis again. (Well, I might, but I’ll edit this out of the archives first.)
I’ve been working on the blurb for Twice Upon A Roadtrip. The teaser paragraphs, or whatever they’re called. I thought it would be easy, because I’ve written my share of synopses, after all. *insert Vincent Price laugh-track here*
My mistake was not realizing the huge difference in the two, and how much fun the monkeys could have with it. With a synopsis I’ve got 2-5 pages to convince an editor she’d be willing to spend some time reading my manuscript. And, though it sounds horribly obnoxious, I’m usually confident I can get a manuscript read. Not bought, maybe, but read.
With the blurb, I’ve got a couple of paragraphs to convince a discerning reader to invest her time and money into my book. And if she doesn’t like it, I probably won’t get another shot. With the editor I can send another manuscript across her desk, and another, as long as I’m in the ballpark. And I’ll send those manuscripts to her knowing she’s at least looking for what I’m writing. Whether or not it sparks her interest is not up to me, but at least I can research her do’s and don’ts ahead of time.
I don’t get to target readers like that. Sure, I can do some promo in our mutual circles, but basically those paragraphs are what they’re basing their decisions on. So these two hundred words need to convey the premise, the humor, the hot sex, my voice, and all without visual subliminal messages.
Which all leads me to believe that readers are even scarier than editors!