Writing the synopsis is usually no author’s favorite job. Who wouldn’t rather be working on the actual book? There is always a temptation to skip or postpone writing the synopsis. Yet the synopsis is a necessary tool for selling and marketing a novel. There is no getting around the fact that sooner or later an agent or editor is going to ask for a synopsis, even for a competed manuscript.
A Synopsis is Needed to Sell a Novel
It would be very rare for a writer to make a sale of a novel without a synopsis. The synopsis is of great importance as it is what the editor or agent reads first to see if they are interested in the manuscript.
If a novel is submitted to an agent, it must be accompanied by a synopsis, for the agent uses the synopsis to sell the manuscript to a publisher. If a book is submitted to an agent without a synopsis, and the agent is interested in the book, the first thing the agent will do is ask the author to write a synopsis if the author hasn’t already done so.
A Synopsis is Necessary for a Completed Manuscript
Some books are sold on the basis of a synopsis alone. Usually, though, the synopsis accompanies three sample chapters or a completed manuscript.
If the manuscript is completed, why not just send in the entire manuscript? A synopsis is just as important for a completed manuscript submission as it is for a partial of three sample chapters. Every submission to an editor or agent should be accompanied by a synopsis.
Editors and agent gets stacks of submissions every day. They get far too many manuscripts daily than they could possibly read. So the ones the editor or agent sets aside to read are selected on the basis of the synopsis. That is why the synopsis had better be well-written and something that catches the editor’s eye.
A Synopsis May be Used to Create a Back Cover Blurb After the Book is Sold
The synopsis serves yet another purpose after the book has been sold. It is often used to create the important back cover blurb for the novel. The synopsis contains all the key elements of the book, which are condensed into a shorter version for the back cover blurb. The synopsis is a valuable selling and marketing tool. That is why an author should take time to polish the synopsis in order to present his or her book in the best possible light.