When people pick up your book they want to know is what it is about. This is why books have a synopsis or description on the back cover. But if the text featured on the back cover doesn’t hook the reader’s interest right away, chances are they won’t buy the book.
After seeing your book cover or hearing your book title, the first thing readers do is pick up the book and flip it over to read the back cover, or if they are online, they will look for the product description, also called a short summary or synopsis (about a paragraph long). Some authors put only their biographies on their back covers. Depending on the book, the author’s Bio might give credibility but not only will the reader still wonder what the book is about; the author is also missing out on the best opportunity to hook readers. Below are some tips on writing a synopsis with a hook:
1- Make it Short. Remember, the possible buyer will not spend more than few seconds looking at the back cover, so make it sweet, short and to the point.
2- Make it Relevant. Most people look for stories relevant to their lives, so it is important to show how the book can relate to current times on the synopsis.
3- Make it Credible. Even sci-fi needs to sound credible to call the interest of a reader. So make sure that how you describe your story (no matter the genre), sounds credible to the reader.
4- Make its Uniqueness Evident. What makes your story different from other books in that genre? That is the question to answer in the synopsis.
To give an example on using the above tips to create a synopsis, below is my book’s back cover/Amazon Synopsis:
“Growing up under WWII Italian survivors was not easy. For Susan, the hardest part was the feeling of alienation as she desperate tried to relate to her parents to no avail. Through the years Susan was able to relate with her mother, but her father remained an enigma until one day he gave her five tapes containing his memoirs. Based on Nino’s first tape, Innocent War is a boy’s adventure, showing a child’s point of view through the war’s hardships, dangers, and tragedies, combined with his own humor, innocence and awakening as he grows up. Join Susan as she gets to know her father, and finds herself within the family she thought she knew.”
1- Make it Short: It is 114 words and states all topics within the stories.
2- Make it Relevant: It states how I was trying to get to know my father (relevant to all who have parents)… even though it is about WWII, currently we are in war against Terrorists.
3- Make it Credible: I state that the story comes from first-hand accounts and there are tapes to back it up…
4- Make its Uniqueness Evident: WWII under the Italian point of View, A child’s experience.
In the end, the best sales person for a book is the author… and the best sales tool is the book itself!