One of the most difficult things to do as a writer is to write a synopsis of your book. Turning your 100,000 word story into a single page description can feel impossible. Below is a synopsis template you can use.
These are the things you need to include:
- The main characters
- How they meet/why they meet
- What journey they take together
- What they learn about themselves
- How it ends
Note: Yes, you do need to tell the publisher how it ends. Don’t do any of this “read it and you’ll see!” kind of stuff. Remember, first and foremost: this is a business relationship. Be professional. Be specific, be responsive. Include pertinent information. Make sure to spell check. Nothing says uncaring amateur like spelling errors in the submission materials.
Example of a good submission letter and synopsis:
Dear Mr Jack Publisher,
Attached is an original story entitled Potatoes for Love that I would like to submit for publication. Following the guidelines on your website, below is a one-page synopsis of the story followed by my information.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to submit my story to Publishing House X.
Pen Name: Suzanne Jack Author
Real Name: Poppy Flower
Address: House number on English Street
Outside Anywhere, England.
Phone: 12345678 (mobile)
I have been involved in a considerable amount of writing over the past few years, and the feedback I’ve received from friends and family has left me encouraged. I believe my novel would fit in well with your publishing house, as my work shares similarities with Joan B Author, whose books “Hamlet Speaks” served as a model for my own writing. The original version currently appears on one “members only” site on the Internet, however it has undergone significant changes since the web version went live some years ago. Publishing House X was my first choice when deciding to submit a story for publication; therefore, at this time, Xyz has not been seen by any other publisher.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
During the potato famine of 1845, Irish aristocrat Susie O’Connor does everything she can to keep her farm from the plague ravaging the crops throughout Ireland. When blight kills her last potato, she turns to her neighbor, dashing and dangerous Paddy O’Shaunnessy, who has money and a healthy crop. He agrees to help her, but at a price. (item 1 and item 2)
Susie and Paddy work tirelessly to save their crops and feed their families, and Susie fulfills her part of the bargain: she plays nursemaid to Paddy’s young daughter, left motherless when Paddy’s wife died of consumption. Day after day their paths cross, and eventually they are unable to deny their attraction for one another. Paddy is determined to court Susie, believing she’s the only woman who can repel the darkness in his soul. But he doesn’t tell Susie his biggest secret: he’s in the business of buying and selling antiquities, and not always legally. When Susie’s life is threatened by Paddy’s shady underground contacts, he learns what love truly is. Susie’s almost puritanical prudery is dashed to pieces when she learns that the man she loves lives in the area between black and white. (item and item 4)
Paddy rescues Susie from certain death, they save her farm, and they come together to live happily ever after. (item 5)
A classic romance, Xyz is 67,191 words long.