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What’s wrong with my synopsis?

September 25, 2013

What's wrong with my synopsis?

What’s wrong with my synopsis?

I’m a relatively new author, in so far as I’ve been writing bits and pieces for years, but only last year did I venture onto the well-trodden, corpse-strewn path of the independent author.

I’ve had some success so far but also a lot of…um, I think silence describes it best. That’s alright; it’s normal so I gather. It will take a while before I develop the tools to get my name out there and start to receive any kind of income worth talking about/declaring.

But right now, at this moment, I have a very specific problem.

My latest thriller ‘Pursuit’ is getting up to 150 page views a day on Smashwords. I know, hardly stratospheric, but for me, in my status as a fairly new author – it’s okay. For now.

So what’s the problem?

Let me tell you: of those page views, hardly anyone is taking a peak inside the front cover. No one is even dowloading the free sample. A few are having the benevolence to click the facebook like button, but really – no one wants to read it. Or even dip their toe in.

Now I may have a problem with my writing, maybe the plot is no good, or maybe the style is too clunky and the narrative doesn’t flow. If that’s the case though, I’ll deal with that. The problem for now is that nobody even wants to find out. Ergo: my synopsis is ineffective.

Like most writers I’ve spent a good deal of time writing and re-writing that blurb, trying it on in different ways until it looked like something that would grab a passing reader and reel them in. In its current form, I really thought I had something.

But the inescapable fact of the matter is…I clearly don’t. IT’S NOT WORKING!!!

So…I was sort of wondering…would anyone be kind enough to take a look and let me know what exactly doesn’t snag your attention? What is so outrageously banal about my little pitch that you feel the urge to navigate away in a hurry?

I know you’re all busy, but all I need is five minutes of your time. Go on, you know you want to..


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  1. I’ve had a look Matt and it seems OK to me. I think writing book blurbs is extremely difficult, and I am no expert.
    Trying to think of things to help, I wondered if the blurb gave too much away? It is not my kind of book, but if it were I think I would feel I knew too much about it. Also you could try adding some questions, such as ‘What is the link between the invisible man and the two-bit bandits?’ or even ‘Is there a link . . .?’ I feel the second paragraph is the one that gives too much away about the invisible man. Could you try using a question there?

    My last thought I will send you in a DM if that’s OK?

    • That’s really helpful Evelyn, thank you! Yes please, go ahead and DM me, really value your opinion.

  2. I say keep it simple, straight-forward, and short. I honestly had to read through it a couple of times to really get it. (It does sound interesting, though!) I know writing blurbs is tough, but it read a lot of them and I think the best ones are short and leave you with questions that you want to find out the answers to.

    • I think you’ve made a good point Brinda – thank you. I’m getting some good feedback now which I hope will help me to write something a little more enticing, a little more succinct. I really appreciate you taking the time to look at it. Thanks again Brinda.

  3. Hiya Mat! Okay, there seems to be too much info and two many commas and long sentences. I feel you need shorter, more concise sentences that pose questions and create mystery and intrigue. I have created a full example of how I would personally change it to and I am going to put it on a DM and send it to you shortly. But for the sake of courtesy to others who may be wondering what I mean, here is a short excerpt of what I think would sound better in my humble opinion: ‘Two wandering criminals target banks across the United States. Despite the FBI’s best attempts to bring them to justice, they are still on the loose. When Veteran Special Agent Calvin Marsland takes over the case, he is not prepared for what follows. As he chases the criminals across the US, what he doesn’t know is that he is being chased too…’ There’s more to it obviously, as I said I am emailing you shortly. Hope this helps and best of luck 🙂

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