Friday, 31 May 2013

Short & Sweet-but so important. The eBook Synopsis

Short & sweet-but so important. The eBook Synopsis

When I first published my eBook - Gettysburg Redux I was so excited to have reached the conclusion to my writing odyssey (more to follow on that journey in another blog post) that I gave little or no thought to the importance of the synopsis. The synopsis is that brief but so important description of your novel. It needs to concise and intriguing and capture the reader’s attention. It must say- WOW, this sounds interesting, - I must purchase this book.

So, why then do we tend to neglect this vital item? I suspect it’s largely due to the novice writer’s own ignorance. We’re so tied up in the actual nuts and bolts of our own stories that we fail to realize this 5 or 6 sentence blurb is of such vast importance. Most of us are making this journey on our own with little or no guidance so we just ignore the synopsis and then suddenly we need to write it (just before we publish) and we do a second rate or plain terrible job.

According to the Concise Oxford dictionary the synopsis is- “a summary or brief general survey”, and Merriam Webster defines it as  - “a condensed statement or outline”.  Sounds simple, but try it yourself- it’s far more difficult to write than it appears.

Recently I was looking for suggestions to increase my book sales and web based sites continually stressed the importance of a great synopsis. This really caught my attention and I took the time an effort to re-write the synopsis for my upcoming eBook.

I then took it a step farther and re-examined the original synopsis for Gettysburg Redux. Much to my grief I realized just how bad this original synopsis was. There was no excitement, little mystery; it had no pull on the buyer’s interest. I couldn't help but wonder how many potential buyers passed on my novel for this reason. So, I undertook to correct this with my published novel.

Here’s the first synopsis:

An alternative version of the American Civil War!
For three bloody days in July 1863 two great American Armies pounded each other to pieces in Gettysburg. This novel follows the exploits of the military elite of both the Confederate and Federal high command and chronicles the hell on earth that was experienced by seven common Rebel soldiers. Could a single bullet change the course of history?

Now the new and (hopefully) improved version:

Veteran Confederate Sergeant Ben Gallows has lived through the blood and terror of the first two years of the American Civil War, but nothing in that period could have prepared him for the madness and chaos of Gettysburg. Under attack by both the Yankees and enemies from within his own regiment will expose him to his greatest challenges.
Rebel General James Longstreet has spiraled down into madness and drunkenness and must now lead his Tattered Wolves into the most pivotal battle of the war. Can he overcome his own demons and military opponents to defeat the overwhelming Yankee army?

Gettysburg Redux presents an alternative version of the American Civil War.  Could a single sniper’s bullet change the course of history? This is book one of the series - REBEL EMPIRE, book two REBELS & DESPERADOS will be available in late 2013.

Now attached for your consideration the synopsis for the upcoming - REBELS & DESPERADOS:

The year is 1888. Young Confederate secret agent and outlaw -“Black” Judah Lee is the most wanted man in all of North America. His alliance with the M├ętis warrior nation and his daring bank and train robberies in the Disputed Territories of Dakota and Assiniboia have brought him to the attention of the grim and bloodthirsty Mountie - Superintendent Thornton. Lee and his psychotic partner Drake Kensington have barely managed to avoid capture, but the Mounties and Pinkerton’s are closing in! He has fallen into a world populated by gamblers, rebels, renegade Indians, outlaws, murderers, desperados and whores; his crucial mission to aid the Confederacy hangs in the balance as he blazes a trail of blood and murder across the West.

So there it is, short and sweet but so very important. I’ll report back later if my revised synopsis has lead to an increase in sales!

As always- would love to hear feedback etc, etc!

Gettysburg Redux is available at all eBook vendors including: