Let’s talk about anything bookish!
There’s this trend that I noticed fairly recently – the really long book synopsis found on the back of the book. Or in most cases, on Goodreads.
See, here’s the thing. I love reading the synopsis before deciding to buy a book. The best synopses I’ve read have been done concisely and can hook me with just those few words.
But here’s what I’ve noticed: the really long synopsis! Uhmm, what’s up with that? Some of these long synopses basically tell everything that happens in the book from start to finish, sort-of spoiling the plot for me. What’s up with that?
I have no idea when that trend started, but I have seen it in quite a few of my favorite books. And I have to say that they are not my favorite type of synopsis.
Why I don’t like long book synopsis
- It’s too wordy. I want the synopsis to hook me and not bore me with all the spoilery details. Keep it short and sweet and I’m a fan for life. I mean, who wants to read a novella for a synopsis?
- Let me read the book already! Here’s the thing about long synopses – it tells you all the details of the book and spoils everything for you (see above). Yeah, like you already know what will happen. So please, please, please intrigue me and not show all the plot points on the back of your book.
- They’re just not engaging. The thing about long synopsis is that it makes my eyes glaze over because it’s wordy (see number 1) and it doesn’t capture my interest! The synopsis should make a reader want to read the book to know what will happen in the book, right?
- Basically, it’s too long. PERIOD.
Examples of REALLY long Synopses
Respect by Jay Crownover – [rating stars=”four-stars”]
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who called a corrupt kingdom home sweet home.
Protected and sheltered from the worst the world had to offer, she fell in love with the crumbling city that burned and blazed around her. Every dirty corner, every scary shadow, found a place within her heart. So did a man who was violent and dangerous, just like the streets she claimed as her own. He was all business and brutality, except when it came to her. With her, he was calm, caring, and heartbreakingly patient. He warned her over and over that he wasn’t the man for her, but she refused to listen. She never expected either the streets or their enforcer to hurt her since she’d given her heart so completely to both.
She should have known the streets in the Point were always going to be savage, and so was the man committed to keeping control of them in the hands of criminals and bloody kingpins. Blindsided by a betrayal which cut so deeply she was sure the wounds would never heal, the princess fled the home she loved and the man who broke her heart. Throwing away her rusted, twisted crown was supposed to help her forget. All it did was make her long for everything she left behind. She told herself she would never go back, but in this tormented kingdom, family is everything. Eventually, she has no choice but to return.
While she was gone, the people who loved her worked hard to make the city safe, and the man who destroyed her sank deeper into the darkness. Going back shouldn’t feel like surrender… but it does. As this pretty princess hovers on the edge of the unknown, the past attacks with a vengeance. It’s a good reminder that puppy love eventually grows up and turns into something with sharp teeth and one hell of a bite.
She never asked for the keys to the kingdom. She’d much rather go out and build her own.
Once Upon a Real Good Time by Lauren Blakely – [rating stars=”three-half-stars”]
That smoking hot one-night stand with a former rock star?
Turns out he’s my son’s new music teacher. Oops.
But I didn’t know that the night I met Campbell. All I knew was he played my body the same way he played a guitar — like he owned it.
My libido is still high-fiving me after being self-served for too many years, and we’re both ready for another night or two of fun, especially since we don’t just have chemistry in bed — we connect over everything.
That is, until I learn he’s the man who’ll be coming to my house twice a week to teach my son — the best music lessons money can buy.
Time to turn down the volume on our shenanigans. Only that’s easier said than done.
I can rock a guitar solo in front of thousands, I can write chart-topping tunes, and I can absolutely stop thinking about my student’s mother naked.
After all, I’m a single parent too, and I know what it’s like to put your kid first. That’s what I do every damn day.
Trouble is, now that I’ve had Mackenzie, it’s hard — and I do mean hard — to stop wanting her. Harder too when I get to know her, and learn she’s an awesome mom, a great friend, and, oh yeah, she happens to get along perfectly with my daughter.
All we have to do is set some rules. No dating, no nookie when the kids are around, and no one gets hurt.
It’s all working out beautifully. Until we start breaking the rules, one by one.
Making music with her in the bedroom is easy. But will we be more than just a real good time when the music stops?
I wish authors would avoid the pitfalls of a long synopsis. As a reader, I want to be excited to read your book, and not have everything given away before I even read the book. It’s okay to keep a little mystery, to make a reader, or a new reader, for that matter, want to read your book.
Do you love reading long synopses?
Aj @ Read All The Things! says
YES! I’ve noticed this, too. When I copy/paste a synopsis on my blog for a review, I sometimes cut sentences or paragraphs out of it. Why do they put spoilers in a synopsis? I don’t want to know the end of the book, and I don’t think other readers do, either.
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…The Sunday Post #165
RIGHT?! It’s a little annoying! Gaaaah
Sharlene Wegner says
Hi Ezrah! It was nice to meet you at HRR! I agree about the long synopsis! Also, I don’t like when the prior book in a series gives you the whole first chapter of the next book. I really don’t want to read book excerpts, unless it’s sentence or two. I would rather wait until the new book comes out & read it in it’s entirety.
Sharlene Wegner says
PS Sometimes the book cover alone sells me the book, without reading anything about it! 😉
Oh yeah! I’m the same way too!
It was nice to meet you, too Sharlene! I hate excerpts or teaser chapters, too!! I avoid reading those when they get added on after a book! hahaha I absolutely HATE the waiting!
I totally agree-a synopsis is a hook! Its suppose to tempt me, not give away the entire story. I think lots of authors struggle with writing a synopsis.
Samantha recently posted…Why I suck at bookish challenges
Ohhh… the authors are the ones writing the synopsis? I didn’t know that! I thought someone else does that for them!
Lover Of Romance says
haha I don’t mind them. Even if I know the major plot points, it doesn’t spoil the story for me at all. In fact I like to be mentally prepared for certain situations. I am weird like that…I mean I used to read the ending of books to make sure it ending happily. But I know some people don’t want to know too much. We all have different ways to being introduced to a book right? Loved reading your thoughts on this!
Lover Of Romance recently posted…Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Children in Romance
Thanks, Renee! I know everyone is different and I actually don’t mind spoilers when I want to but the synopsis shouldn’t tell the whole story! That’s just me, though… hahaha
Wendy @ Falconer's LIbrary says
I want to know as little as possible going in. I feel like the experience is more…genuine? Like if the main character is blind, I want the author to reveal that to me, even if it’s in the first two pages, rather than going into the book going, “Okay, so the MC is blind, how is that going to affect things?” Ideally, I just pick up a book because I trust the author, or I trust another reader who recommends it. Barring that, I want just a taste from the cover, not anything near a summary!
In other words, I 100% agree with this post.
I know what you mean, Wendy! Sometimes, I want to get spoiled, but this is not often.
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says
Oh, it makes me crazy when the synopsis tells you things that happen three-quarters of the way through the book. Not only is it a spoiler, but you find yourself waiting for the thing to happen because you assume it’s part of the set-up of the book … and then feeling frustrated when you just have to keep waiting!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Incentives and Giveaways Galore – 10/7/18
OMG right?! I always do that and it totally ruins the book for me!