This post is part of A Winter's Tale, an event running through December for which we invited eight of our favorite bloggers to talk about their favorite books, authors etc. or share an interesting discussion. They have gone all out and gave us even better, more professional content than we expected, which is to say something. If you're here, don't forget to enter our month-long international giveaway here.
Today, we are happy to welcome:
Tessa from Crazy for YA!
I honestly can't recall when I discovered Tessa, but what I do know is that her blog is a treasure. She shares both hyped and underhyped titles, and her posts are always so articulate and well-phrased. No matter if I agree or disagree with her on a book, I always close her blog feeling like, yeah, that was time well spent. So I'm extremely pleased & hyped & othergoodfeelings to welcome her at The Regal Critique as a guest-poster. - Vera 💙
I barely have the to do my own laundry, let alone spend time on books that aren't my taste. Thankfully, the publishing industry has evolved to provide summaries aka a synopsis, with books these days to help readers decide if a book is right for them or not. This is an amazing idea in theory, but sometimes it falls short in practice.
Here are the seven deadly sins of a bad synopsis:
1. The synopsis is longer than the book itself
2. The synopsis is shorter than a TweetI know this point seems contradictory, but there is a tricky balance for the length of a synopsis. I want to be an informed reader without slogging through a synopsis longer than my attention span.
That being said, I want a synopsis to explain key details about the book, like the genre, main characters, and some hint of the plot to get me excited to read it. However, if a synopsis is only a few sentences, then I won't feel informed enough to pick it up.
3. The synopsis has a lot of words but says nothingSimilar to #1, but a bigger problem. There are a lot of summaries that have the right length, but then end up being so vague that I didn't get anything out of it. It is one thing to use this tactic with a mystery novel, but I don't want my fantasy, science fiction, or contemporary books to skimp out on the details in a synopsis. A wishy-washy synopsis can be a precursor to a weak plot or unclear characterization.
4. The synopsis is really just a bunch of vague praise and promises
That being said, I do love it when fellow book bloggers are featured in advanced praise sections. I don't think this is hypocrisy if I am supporting my fellow book lovers and bloggers.
5. The synopsis brags about the author too muchYes, I do have auto-buy authors that I will read pretty much anything from, but I would rather hear about the actual book in a synopsis than the author. Lately, I have been noticing a trend where a synopsis will start with something like "Another great story from world-renowned, New York Times Bestselling Author". That's great and all, but I am a believer that past success doesn't guarantee future success. I want to judge a mainly based on the content, not just the author. Plus, this opening is very arrogant to me, making assumptions about readers who like a certain author.
6. The synopsis reveals all of the book's secrets
7. The synopsis lies to you
Unfortunately, this pact is not always upheld on the book's side of the deal. Sometimes, this sin is the accumulation of the other sins, using vague descriptions and seemingly glowing praise to lure readers into a story that they didn't even sign up for.
Finally, I want to give a huge thank-you to Veronika, Ruzaika, and Clare at The Regal Critiques for letting me write a guest post! I love writing discussion lists and I am glad that they let me be a little sassy. I have been a fan of their work for AGES and it was really an honor to contribute something to their amazing blog.
-Tessa @ Crazy for YA
Do you agree/disagree with Tessa's points?
What are your synopsis pet peeves?