Dear Indies ♥ Synopsis vs Blurb


Happy Saturday Indies!

I know this isn’t the article I promised to post next for Dear Indie, but when inspiration strikes… Many aspiring writers will put in hours of research on the book publishing industry and still get surprised with things they weren’t expecting. The whole Synopsis vs Blurb is one of them.

What is the difference between a Synopsis and a Blurb?

In the Self-Publishing world: Nothing. The two words are completely interchangeable. They both pertain to the same condensed, key-word packed “description” you have to write for the sales page of your eBook / back cover of your paperback. It just depends on who you’re talking to, on which name it will be called.

In the Traditional Publishing world: These are two completely different beasties – AND – you have to write them both!

The “Blurb” is only that short sales pitch that will be used for your book’s landing page &-or back cover.

A “Synopsis” is a 1-5 page, detailed rundown of your novel from beginning to end, which highlights the plot, character development, conflict, resolution, possible plot twists and the ending. Yes, the ending. You don’t want to try to preserve any surprise elements by NOT including them in your Synopsis.

Why? Because, the Synopsis is the ONLY thing publishers read to determine whether or not they’re interested in your manuscript – they’re never going to read your book in its entirety. They don’t have time for that. Once you’re offered a contract and assigned an editor, then they will read your manuscript in its entirety, but you have to get through the gatekeepers, first.

So, if you’re a writer aiming to land a publishing contract with an EPub or Traditional Publisher, it’s never too early to get your Synopsis and Blurb prepared for submissions. Find someone on Goodreads or a personal contact you trust to proofread it and get it as polished as possible, so you have an amazing Synopsis already on hand to submit to publishers upon their request. Trust me, it’s no fun getting asked for one at the last minute and having to scratch one out as fast and presentable as possible!

Having 5 pages for a Synopsis might sound like a blessing compared to a Blurb, but for a 100,000+ word manuscript, trying to highlight everything they ask for can be just as frustrating and constrictive. You won’t have enough room to add everything you wish you could – so just make sure to add everything they specifically list. Publishers have zero tolerance for creative disobedience. You’re not going to win them over by offering something in replace of what they request, just because you think it sounds more attractive. Follow their guidelines to the letter.

That’s it for today, Indies! I will be getting the: How to create a blank template for paperback layouts posted ASAP, promise!

No matter what your publishing goals are, make sure to pause every once in awhile and give yourself kudos or an award to celebrate all of your small accomplishments along the way. We are so much harder on ourselves than any boss could be and it’s too easy to feel crushed under the weight of this competitive industry. Just remember, no one writes like you. No one can tell your characters’ stories the way you can, because you’re the one they talk to. Champion for them, and for yourself, by allowing more positive influence into the process than negative. As one my best friends always says: “Just breathe, you got this!”

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