You have completed your mss, you have even written a cover
letter to enclose with your mss, but still, that is not
enough! You need a synopsis of your work to add to them as
What is a synopsis?
A synopsis is a summary of your work. You must always
enclose a synopsis with your mss. Do not expect the
editor/publisher to read your mss without it, as they do
not have much time available. Your synopsis will tell them
if it is worth reading further on. So, it is important to
write a good synopsis , as it is this document that
represents and will sell your work.
How to write a synopsis.
First write the title of your work, followed by your name.
Then write the word SYNOPSIS in the middle.
By Jason Brown
Now, try to be brief and precise. This is only the outline
of your work, so skip details or any unnecessary
Let us suppose you have written a book about Turtles. You
The proposed book, aimed at pet lovers and pet owners
would extol the...
(you must state who your book is aimed at and what it is
Then you can add a new paragraph:
The book would fill a much needed gap in the market
(You must justify the need for your book. Try to find a
good reason, so as to persuade the prospective publisher
that it is worth investing on your work.)
Now, go for the lay out of your book. You could write:
It is suggested that the book should contain 10 chapters
on the breeds..
The introductory chapter would deal with the...followed by
a chapter on...
Finally, you can end:
It is considered that chapters would also be included on
Bear in mind that in your synopsis you are marketing an
idea, which will be backed up with a specimen chapter and a
list of chapters.
You must be original. Publishers need a fresh approach,
even if the subject you have written about is common.
Be brief. No more than 1000 words ( original 50,000) or
less. Usually one A4 page sheet is enough. The shorter, the
Write your name, address contact numbers (e-mail) at the
end of the synopsis.
In the case of a novel, write down the plot of the story in
one page. Keep the main points and discard the rest. The
publisher will only want to know what your story is about,
the basics of the plot, and what happens in the end. If he
likes it, he will go on to read your specimen copy.
Be prepared to wait for a long time before you get a reply.
Do not call the publisher and do not send a fax. Be
patient. However, if you dont get a reply in the specified
time, write or e mail to the publisher. e.g. You can say:
Dear Mr. Brown, (publishers name)
I wonder what has happened to my novel, (title) , sent to
you on (date).
I would be grateful if you could send me a reply at your
Mary Smith (your name)
Thats all. Now, you can start writing your synopsis.
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