Disclaimer: I received a free advanced review copy of Sizzling Synopsis in exchange for this review.

There are more writing craft books out there than you can shake a stick at and almost as many covering a myriad of other topics like writing faster, outlining better, building an author business, selling your books in Tijuana…well, you get my point.

One topic lacking resources, however,  is synopsis writing. I’m talking about the hard-hitting, grab-readers-by-the-seat-of-their-pants-and-steal-their-wallet descriptions you need to sell books.

I was fortunate enough in my budding career to have bestselling author Michael Sullivan take me by my young noobish hand and guide me through my first synopsis — an act of mercy for which I’ll be forever in debt to him. You don’t want to know how bad my first dozen attempts were. A year or so down the line, I discovered Gotta Read It! by Libbie Hawker, a book I refer to every time I write a new synopsis.

But as good as Gotta Read It! is, it really only skims the surface of synopsis writing. You get the how-to, but not so much inner workings. In my experience, not knowing why things work will only get you so far. Luckily, that’s where Bryan Cohen’s Sizzling Synopsis comes in.

5136lZOX2ILHow to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good is the book that pulls back the covers and show the moving parts of a killer synopsis that drives sales. Bryan’s made a career out of copyrighting and last year also brought his talents to the author world with a book description service called Best Page Forward that’s saved countless authors from rambling, boring blurbs.

The skinny:

Why you need it: If you’re an author you need to know how to distill your book down to its most potent form (just like a jug of moonshine), for both readers and potential publishers. Sizzling Synopsis not only shows you the how of writing a great synopsis of your book, it shows the why behind a variety of sales copy writing tricks.

An inside peak (three tips from Sizzling Synopsis):

  • “When in doubt, save it for the book.”
  • “You want your blurb to have momentum throughout the short piece, taking your daredevil reader up the ramp, all the way across the chasm, and safely to the other side where they can start reading your book.”
  • “You’re not the one buying your book. Practice the art of selflessness and think about your reader.”

The bottom line: Nobody wants to suck at any part of their author business yet tons of authors out there write long, abhorrent descriptions of their book like they’re being paid by the word. Do yourself a favor and do it right.