Review: How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen

Posted August 8, 2016 by Lola in Coyer, Non-Fiction, Review / 16 Comments


How to Write a Sizzling SynopsisHow to Write a Sizzling Synopsis: A Step-by-Step System for Enticing New Readers, Selling More Fiction, and Making Your Books Sound Good
by Bryan Cohen

Rating: 4 stars

Struggling to find new readers? Learn how a compelling synopsis can make your book fly off the digital shelves!

Do you hate writing blurbs? Do you wish there was an easier way to summarize your novel and get more sales in the process? Author and copywriter Bryan Cohen’s book descriptions have hit both the Kindle Store’s Top 50 and the USA Today Bestseller list. Let him show you exactly how to craft the copy you need to hook new readers.

After writing hundreds of book descriptions for other authors and helping thousands with informative training, Bryan has learned what all the best book synopses have in common. Through easy-to-follow tips and helpful examples in a variety of genres, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis gives you the tools you need to get a steady stream of online book browsers to click the Buy button every single day.

In this book, you’ll discover: How to simplify your plot to create a short, engaging synopsis Why using certain words can make customers fall in love with your story How to shed unnecessary subplots and make writing your blurb a joy instead of a chore The step-by-step system for writing and editing your synopsis for rhythm, momentum, and clarity Why you need a synopsis cliffhanger, and much, much more!

Finally, you no longer have to take on the challenge of copywriting alone. With a more intriguing synopsis in place, all your future promotions, ads, and marketing campaigns can perform significantly better. You want more readers to buy your books, and Bryan’s system is a great way to make it a reality.

If you like detailed writing guides, plenty of examples, and a touch of humor, then you’ll love Bryan Cohen’s look behind the scenes at how he creates copy that sells.

Buy How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis today to get new readers excited to buy your books!

My Review:
So I have this weird fascination with book marketing, so when an author in an author facebook group that I am part of recommended this book I just had to pick it up. It sounded informative and I thought it might come in handy when giving advice to other authors. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this book as I read very little non-fiction (I am trying to change that), but I really enjoyed it and found it very informative.

How the Write a Sizzling Synopsis delivers exactly what the title promises you, tips for writing a great synopsis. Each chapter has a specific point the author addresses and at the end of the chapter there is an exercise, which I thought was very handy for applying to knowledge. I started writing synopsis for books I recently read and I realized just how difficult it was. I enjoyed seeing how my synopsis changed over the course of the book and this book definitely made me look at synopsis in a different light. And the last chapter gives a step by step guide for how to write your synopsis. I found the tips and advice to be very practical.

On the other hand I do think not each tip is for every author or every synopsis, but that’s almost impossible. And I think the advice in this book is only one way to write them, but it does sound like an effective approach. I don’t know if applying these rules to your synopsis actually brings your book more sales, but it would be interesting to hear from authors who apply these tips to their blurbs. I do agree with the author that a blurb is very important for selling your book, so giving these tips a try when writing your next blurb does sound like it’s worth a try.

I think the author makes a lot of great points and also explains why these techniques work. Overall I think most authors would learn a few things from this book that they can apply to their synopsis or least become more aware of possible techniques. Some points you can take with a grain of salt or apply as you see fit, but most of the times the author makes a good point and also explains his reasoning for why you should write your synopsis in a certain way.

The chapters are pretty short and the book is very easy to read. There’s even a bit of humor in it and overall I read through this book easily and even enjoyed getting some new knowledge about the topic and applying it. At the end of each chapter there is an exercise and a short recap, which I thought was very handy. And like the author I would encourage you to follow these exercises as I thought it was very interesting to see the synopsis I wrote develop while I worked my way through the book.

To summarize: This was an enjoyable and informative read. I learned a lot of new things about writing synopsis and found the book to be well written. The author explains why you should write your synopsis in a certain way and gives advise that makes sense and is easy to apply. The exercises and recaps at the end of the book are very handy. It makes you sure you have a chance to apply the knowledge you just learned and read the most important points another time. Maybe not all advice can be applied to each synopsis, but I think most authors will find some pieces of advice they can apply or new techniques to learn for writing synopsis. I felt like I learned a lot more about writing synopsis and found it an interesting read. I would definitely recommend this book to authors who want to know more about writing synopsis.



What kind of things/ topics/ themes/ sentences appeal to you in a synopsis?


16 responses to “Review: How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen

    • I also did the exercises, but as I am not an author I didn’t take as long for them. They sure are handy and I did feel like the exercises were a good way to apply what you just learned in the book.

    • It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly catches my attention in a blurb, but yes I do want there to be something about the story and maybe give me a feel for the characters and make me curious and want to know what happens.

  1. This is such a great book! Bryan does an excellent job of picking apart the pieces of the synopsis and what each does and how to build the suspense. I’ve learned a lot from him and his techniques. True, they won’t work for every author or book, but they will work for a vast majority of fiction, which is where he aims this help.
    S. J. Pajonas recently posted…Sunday Update – August 7, 2016My Profile

    • Thanks for recommending this book! You were the author I saw it recommend in a facebook group and why I bought it. It was really interesting to read this book and I notice the different techniques sometimes now when I read a blurb. It definitely made me look at blurbs in a different way. And yes I think for a lot of books these tips can be applied.

  2. Sounds interesting. I have to admit though, I often only glance at a synopsis and just take in keywords. I prefer to read a book not knowing much about it in advance. I’m more swayed to buy books based on friend’s ratings and reviews, rather than the blurb. One thing I do love though is taglines on the front cover, they often suck me in!

    I liked the way you practised the tips and could see the difference in how you wrote the synopsis. That proves the technique is effective.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…The Sunday Post : Get your Bookish News 07.08.2016 – August ProjectsMy Profile

    • Oh yes taglines are an important part though or the first line of the blurb. I usually do read the blurb, unless it’s a book by a favorite author or I already have decided I want to read it.

      I wanted to get the most out of the book and practicing the tips through the exercises really helped and also made me realize how difficult it is to write synopsis and see how these tips made it a bit easier.

  3. Book blurbs have been a source of frustration for me recently and I feel like a couple of publishers could have used a once over of this book before writing vague blurbs. It’s vague blurbs that drive me nuts — I don’t need to know everything about the book, but I do need more than two random paras of dialogue, with no context lol.
    Verushka recently posted…#LoveOzLit: What makes Maria Lewis want to hurl a book?My Profile

    • I agree I am not a fan of too vague blurbs either, they can have some vague sentences, but I also want to know where the book is about. This book definitely focuses on being concrete and not too vague. I’ve seen a few blurbs that start with dialogue and then switch to non dialogue which works great, but only dialogue often doesn’t give enough information.

  4. I think more authors should read this because there are some truly terrible book blurbs out there. They give away too much, they’re too vague and don’t even tell you what the book is about, they’re like ten paragraphs long, they’re confusing, etc. They’re just all over the place. I’m sure writing them isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I’m sure it does pay to have a good one that accurately portrays the book. I don’t think it’s weird that you’re interested in book marketing though, I think it’s cool too 🙂 Marketing is interesting stuff! At least to me lol.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Discussion: Consistency in Book SeriesMy Profile

    • When I did the exercises in this book I really found out how difficult it is to to write a blurb, but it’s also really important to have a good blurb for your book. I think this book could be helpful to a lot of authors as it focuses on what to include in your blurb or not and remove unnecessary parts and tell what the book is about.

      Yes I find marketing really interesting. I just picked up another book about book marketing this week. Even though I don’t write books I love knowing more about this subject and hopefully being able to share what I know with authors :).

  5. Ah, I always love your book marketing/publishing nonfiction book review and posts! When reading a blurb, I look for something that jumps out at me – something that says This isn’t your everyday thriller (because if it were, why would I buy it?). This is a particularly helpful books as the author has to make the most of every chance he/she gets to attract the right readers.
    Jee Ann @ The Book Tales recently posted…Beware “Fallow” by Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin #8)My Profile

    • Thanks! I hope to review more of these type of books! It’s hard to define what in a blurb makes me want to pick it up. I want to get a feel for the story and what it’s about, but some blurbs do that and don’t jump out at you and others do.

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