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

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  155 reviews
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 s

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published July 9th 2016 by Bryan Cohen
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Susan May
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book is a must read for authors wanting to sharpen their synopsis. I thought I was pretty good at writing blurbs, which I find pretty difficult like all authors. Bryan Cohen certainly gives you some great tips. Bravo, Brian. I also love his Sell More Books show. My go to show for indie author and publishing news. I listen every week, without fail.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 promi
Bernard Jan
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We all know how to write a book but we suck at writing a capturing blurb! Either it is too long or too boring to hook our readers. Writing a sizzling synopsis is possible if we follow a few simple rules and use the tools to get online book browsers click our Buy button every single day. This book is a gold mine! Dig in!

I thank Derek Doepker for recommending it to me and I extend this recommendation to everyone.
C.J. Darlington
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-how-to
Who would think a subject that's seemingly short could fill an entire book with little wasted words? Cohen did a great job tackling this oftentimes sticky subject for authors. He boils it down so even those who hate synopsis writing can approach the task with more confidence and less trepidation. Includes many model synopsis' at the end that I thought would be boring but actually were interesting to read. Pick this up if your definition of the word "synopsis" is synonymous to "colonoscopy". ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful. I wouldn't call it a one-stop guide to synopsis writing, but it's a great beginning and will definitely help take a lot of the mystery and also PAIN out of blurb-writing.

Also see the information in Brian Meeks' Mastering Amazon Ads.
La Coccinelle
Dec 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
As most self-published writers will tell you, writing the synopsis (otherwise known as the blurb) can be one of the most difficult parts of the whole process. Trickier than writing a 100,000-word novel? Yes... because you've got to condense those 100,000 words into a couple hundred in a way that makes a potential reader want to read the full 100,000-word story.

Enter How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis, which promises to help you with this task. While it does have some good basic information, I almo
Kate M. Colby
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-publishing
A great guide for taking the heart of your story and condensing it down into an emotionally charged and attention-grabbing synopsis. While the majority of the book focuses on purely the synopsis part of your book description, there is one chapter that discusses taglines, calls-to-action, etc. Overall, this is a quick and easy read (written in the humor Bryan's podcast listeners will enjoy), with helpful exercises that will help you craft your synopsis as you move through the book. Highly recomme ...more
Siobhan Davis
Most Indie Authors I know say they are terrible at writing blurbs and absolutely dread that part of the process, and I'm no exception. I've tried outsourcing it in the past but it doesn't work so it's something I need to master so that I can overcome this "mental block" I have every time I'm getting ready to release something new.

I searched for a good book on blurb-writing previously and was surprised to find there weren't that many options that fit what I was looking for so I was delighted when
Adam Collings
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Writing a synopsis is hard. As you start reading this book and doing the exercises, you'll realise it's even harder still, but as you keep going, things start to fall into place. After all, you've got one of the best, Bryan Cohen, cheering you on.

This is a skill that will take plenty of practice to master, but Bryan Cohen gives a step-by-step guide on how to proceed.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us Bryan.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin with this beyond helpful book? Well for one I wish I had bought it sooner. Perhaps I thought it wouldn't be worth it or it would be too wordy but forget all that because this book was dynamite and then some! Each chapter was simple, clear and precise in telling you how you should craft your book description and write a sizzling synopsis. I could probably ramble on for five paragraphs about this book but I'll keep it to this. Bryan Cohen's How to Write A sizzling Synopsis is help ...more
Harley Christensen
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Ready to convert that fizzled book synopsis into a sizzling book sale?

I know. I’ve been there.

You’ve written a great book. You’ve got a crazy cool cover. You want to hit “Publish” but that little voice tells you “Not so fast, my chickadee, you’re not done…yet.”

Yup, you still need to write your book description.

You sigh as the fear and loathing build… After a period of procrastination, desperation kicks in and you…settle. Sure, your tagline is short and snappy but when you hit that dreaded synops
Laura Martone
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a novelist who's yet to publish her first novel, I admit to being a wee bit nervous about the marketing side of writing. Like many authors, I find it less daunting to write a 100,000-word novel (or even a 300,000-word one) than to write a three-paragraph synopsis about said novel. But, with Bryan's wonderful, easy-to-digest, and, at times, amusing how-to guide about writing a killer synopsis, I feel a lot less overwhelmed than I did before. In addition to Bryan's clear explanations and releva ...more
Nola Lorraine
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this book because I was in the process of writing a book proposal and thought it would be helpful. Although the kind of synopsis Cohen is talking about is more the type you use for the back-cover blurb than a full synopsis, I still found it really useful. Each short chapter has specific tips and exercises to help you nail down the essence of your plot, and there are lots of examples of synopses in the back.

This is one I'll refer back to again. Very helpful for fiction back-cover blurbs.
Linda Fausnet
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This book is worth far more than I paid for it. The author provides clear, step-by-step instructions on how to write an effective description for your book. He not only tells you WHAT to do, he includes a clear and concise explanation of WHY you should do it. I took notes while reading this book, and I jotted something important down from nearly every page. I loved this book because it contained specific advice, as opposed to vague assertions liked "your synopsis needs to evoke emotion in a read
Angela Ford
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sell more books

At the end of the day, I want to take away every barrier that keeps readers from buying my books. Having an emotionally compelling book blurb is key. This books empowers me with the tools I need to create a synopsis that sells more books. Highly recommended.
Nancy Cupp
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was well written and easy to understand. It is a helpful how-to book on a difficult task. I've used the information on my own books and it helped me move from a mundane to eye-catching synopsis. Clearly, this task requires much practice and Bryan's book is a good place to start. ...more
Rob Durham
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ll bump my rating from 4 stars to 5 as soon as someone tells me I’ve nailed my blurb.
Russell Holbrook
Jun 22, 2021 rated it liked it
I found this book very helpful! I feel like I learned a lot and my perspective about writing descriptions was changed for the better. Now I just need to keep practicing what I learned!
Bill Powers
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent, concise how-to guide on writing first rate synopsis for your books; highly recommend for fiction authors.
Jeremy Flagg
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for those Polishing Touches

Bryan does it again. Concise and to the point. Was a quick read I've gone through several times already! I highly recommend for any author struggling with writing back blurbs!
Sacha Black
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book for authors teaching them how to write a better synopsis. Nice and short in length so easily digestible. Some great tips, as well as fab summaries and some exercises at the end of each chapter.
Jay Storey
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
An essential book for anyone wanting to improve their book synopses or description. It points out the importance of descriptions in selling books, presents a method for writing a great description, and includes a number of examples of book good and bad descriptions.
Kristin Spencer
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Informative, relatable, and immensely helpful.
Jonathan H. LATER
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This one was disappointing. I can see how a beginner would probably find this helpful, but I just couldn't handle the idea that everything you need to know is proved on page 76. There are 7 steps.
1) Introduce the main character
2) Establish the beginning stakes for the character
3) Escalate the tension for the character
4) Repeat 1-3 for any other main characters that you want to add in the synopsis. For example, in a romance you would have the male and female, or whatever roles you choose.
5) Bri
Rob. C.
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read non-fiction, but I follow Bryan online and I heard him speaking at a few webinars, so I was curious to read something he wrote. Surprisingly, I read it all in one sitting and didn't feel like skipping chapters to get to the end.
This is a quick, straight to the point guide that will tell you how to make that dreaded synopsis shine so that it attracts more readers and fans. There are a few exercises he recommends doing while you're reading it, so that by the time you've reache
Lyle Nicholson
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I do not believe I have read a better book on this subject. Cohen gives line by line instructions on the art of writing a synopsis which many authors, myself included, have disregarded at our own peril.

This little book is really a course. Do the exercises, read it out loud and see what if you have come close to producing something that a ready will want to buy. If it sounds clunky, well, there you have it, you need to work on it. He even offers a free Facebook group of other authors who will lo
Eli Breakstop-Kings
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Blurbs, not synopses.

The book is about writing blurbs, not synopses. That’s red flag number one.
Its not too terrible at discussing blurbs, but its not great either. For a book about writing your book’s blurb, it’s bloated and unwieldy. Entertaining and I like the author’s style, but it’s not a good fit for a reference/how to book. Id love to read a novel by him, though.
Amara Luciano
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Informative but not enough applicable tips

Would’ve really liked to see more info on how to actually write the synopsis in few genres. Rather than bits & pieces as far as examples, I would’ve liked to see a whole one.
Heidi Coles
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Good for self publishing

Good for self publishing but it's dragged out to make a book. I've found websites with just as much information. Pleased I read it all the same.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-on-writing
I feel like I already knew most of the information covered in synopsis from other research I've done. But it was still good in the advice it gave.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Good).
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Bryan Cohen is a bestselling author, experienced copywriter, and the founder of Best Page Forward and Amazon Ad School. He has written or co-written over 30 books crossing a variety of genres. Learn more about Bryan at

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