Thoughts on Thursday: What is that JUNK in Your Synopsis?


What is that JUNK in Your Synopsis?

Recently I went on a children’s literature and middle grades reading binge. I needed to step away from grown ups and drama for a while.

After reviewing 50+ of these books, I was struck by how much JUNK was in the synopsis for so many of these books on Goodreads. For some, there wasn’t even a synopsis of the book! It was promotional filler for the author’s other ventures. I have to admit that I was bothered by this. Why is all this other crud allowed in the synopsis?

I also noticed that some of the descriptions were very lengthy and gave everything away! Why!? The journey and wonders of the book are now spoiled for readers.

I read a synopsis to get a grasp of the genre and main points of the book. For most of us, it’s the guide that helps us determine if we add it to our TBR or if we bypass it.

I understand that many of those who have filler junk in their synopsis are self-published and self-promoting and I think that’s wonderful, but come on, your book synopsis is not the place! If it’s too full of other junk, it makes me think the author didn’t have enough time and that the book will also be of poor quality.

A bad synopsis – too long, too detailed, too much unnecessary, unrelated crap – can be killer for your readership. For me, it is a total turn off and it makes me view the author in a lesser light.

A synopsis should always be concise and ambiguous. This way the main points are highlighted briefly and the major parts of the book are not ruined.

What do you think? Have you seen a horrible synopsis full of junk before? How does this affect your view of the book or author? 

13 thoughts on “Thoughts on Thursday: What is that JUNK in Your Synopsis?

  1. As someone who has interned a bit in the publishing industry, I will say that a good synopsis can be a challenge to write. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like seeing good ones! I agree there seems to be an increase in giving far too much away, though.

  2. Oh, I loathe a too-revealing synopsis! In fact, I think I would almost prefer the annoying promotional one to the revealing one. I have started not even bothering with them anymore, or at least taking them with a grain of salt. And the synopses for SO many second-in-series books totally spoil whatever happened in the first book. The struggle is real!

  3. For me, a synopsis is a make or break part of deciding to read a book. So, if it has a ton of “junk” or revealing details, I will most likely refuse to read it. I like a synopsis with the main idea of the book and gives just enough information to intrigue me, but still leaves me wondering. I also do not like when a synopsis is too dramatic, like “(insert character here) must do everything he can to save the world, get the girl, and figure out the answer to the mysterious question..” or something like that. Most summaries like that do not live up to the excitement that they promise.

  4. I’m so with you on this, although I’m much more annoyed by the too revealing ones than the ones filled with junk as I’m pretty good as skipping over the junk! Thanks for joining us at Booknificent Thursdays this week! Always great to have you!

  5. Oh, this is so important. One of my favorite books has a really crappy synopsis on GoodReads. I won the book via the FirstReads program and had entered because it was a time travel novel. When I finished the book and wrote the review, I realized how lacking the synopsis was!

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    • Yes, this is exactly how I have felt about several recent reads. I usually go back and reference the synopsis in order to get my writing off the ground, but found that I was struggling to do so. Upon closer inspection, I realized why. The synopsis is so important!

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