5 Step Synopsis Formula

There it is. Finally, your book is up on Amazon and bookstores worldwide.

You feel proud. Excited. Being published was going to make all the difference.

But then nothing happens… You’ve spent blood, sweat and tears on a book that is hardly getting sales.


The synopsis wasn’t right – i.e., the blurb that goes onto the back cover (and often expanded for the online book description).

This usually happens because an author has hashed it together at the last minute. Without giving it much thought. And when the book is published, it then gets lost in all the other books in its category.

But it’s not the author’s fault. If no-one has shown them how to do it and why it’s so important…

Until now.

Today, I’d like to share my 5 Step Synopsis Formula with you.

And this is valuable, because your synopsis is what sells your book.

  • When your synopsis is right, more people will find it…
  • If they like what they see, they will buy it…
  • If they like what they read, they’ll leave a five-star review…
  • The more reviews you have, the more people will find it…

I’m sure you can see why this is sooo important!

I was recently working with one of my clients on his synopsis and he didn’t want to be that person who got it wrong.

We started with a rough draft before I shared my formula, and we worked together to juice up the blurb for his book. He has agreed for me to share the before and after.

Here’s the content before we worked on it together:

So many companies fold up, and many new entrepreneurs do not succeed in a new start-up because of a lack of knowledge about the key functions to properly manage and grow a company profitably.

The key functions and the supporting departments are fully explained with clear examples from the author’s personal experiences as an MD in manufacturing and international sales, and in management consulting.

The book clearly sets out many problem situations encountered and how they were overcome. At the end of each chapter, the lessons learned and the methodology for improvement are set out.

At the end of each chapter, businesspeople will have some, or a lot of extra knowledge to be able to improve their business. And by the end of the book there will be solid information and lessons for implementation for all the key functions.

It only takes a small improvement in just one or two items to make a big difference to performance. The examples covered will demonstrate this.

What do you think?

Here are the reasons why this back cover synopsis won’t get results.

  • Although it tells the reader why entrepreneurs don’t succeed, it’s not powerful enough to grab their attention in the very first sentence.
  • Although it mentions that the reader may have problems, it doesn’t say what these are, meaning that they are unlikely to quickly identify that the book is for them.
  • It tells the reader that the author has a process, but it doesn’t show them how it’s going to help them, and focuses on the features, rather than the benefits and outcomes that they will get from reading it.
  • It tells me that the author has examples, solid information and lessons that will help the reader, but it doesn’t include specifics.
  • Although it alludes to the author’s experience, it doesn’t give enough information for the reader to see why he is an expert and why they should listen to him.

It’s important to note, it doesn’t matter how good the book is on the inside… If the outside doesn’t grab your reader’s attention, you will never make sales.

So let me share my 5 Step Synopsis Formula that I went through with my client.

1. The hook and the problem

You only have a few seconds to grab your prospective reader’s attention. If you don’t do this, they will buy someone else’s book instead.

So, you need to hook in your prospective reader from the moment they start to read your description, perhaps with a statistic or hard-hitting fact. Then tap into some problems or difficulties they are facing.

By using your ideal reader’s language, they will feel like you are talking directly to them, and they will resonate with your message (and this will also repel people who are not your target readers).

2. The journey

If you have a signature system or memorable methodology, then tell your reader about it and how it will help them. It will set you up as an authority and credible in your field.

Take your reader through the journey they are going to follow in the book, so that they know what to expect from reading it. This will show them how you will solve their problem in your book.

3. The benefits

The journey should lead into your promise, outcome and solution. What is your reader going to get from reading your book?  

4. Why you?

Share your credentials. Why should your readers listen to you? Why are you an expert in your field? This may include companies you’ve worked with, accreditations, experience and other areas important to your reader.

5. Social proof

If you have some high-profile reviews, especially from people who are well-known, include them. They will help to sell your book as they provide great social proof.

Be mindful that your synopsis, along with your title and subtitle, need to be keyword rich for the online description, so that people organically find your book (and this will help with the Search Engine Optimisation).

And you need to do this all in around 200 words!

My client agreed that I could share the final version of the synopsis after we worked on it together, although he asked me to refrain from sharing his personal details to protect his intellectual property.

1000+ companies in the UK cease trading every week, and many entrepreneurs fail when they launch a start-up, because of a lack of knowledge about how to properly manage and grow a company profitably.

In this book, [author’s name] will show you how to implement the [author’s signature programme], with clear examples from his broad personal experiences with stories, lessons and examples.

He starts by giving you an entire overview of running a business more successfully, including areas where business owners forget to focus or don’t realise their importance. Then he drills down into the key functions that are essential to your business.

By following [author’s first name]’s recommendations, you will:

  • Understand how to make a company more profitable.
  • Develop your sales techniques to get more enquiries and conversions.
  • Better understand the financial implications of your business decisions.
  • Fully understand gross profit management to improve your bottom line.
  • Improve your IT, develop more effective leadership, and increase company and employee performance.

It only takes small 1% improvements in a few areas to make a huge difference to the success of your business.

[Author’s first name] is a Management Consultant with decades of experience working with businesses, helping them to become more effective, more profitable and more successful.

Now the client has a back cover that matches the depth of knowledge and expertise that he shares in his book.

Can you see why it is better?

Every month, as part of the Smart Author – Fast Track programme, I will critique a piece of your writing, and this can include your back cover synopsis. If you’d like my personal feedback on your book and your writing this year, so that you can write a book that sells and gets you business, then we need to chat. Click here to find out more or reply to this email to book a call.

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