Synopsis Length

Q: Should the synopsis be a single paragraph or are several pages better? -Gene

A:
Every agent might give you a different answer to this question, but in general I think that a short, tight synopsis is preferable. While I want to be assured that the novel has been well-thought-out, I never read a 10-page synopsis; after all, I’m ultimately going to make my decision based on the writing itself, not just the plot points. I also think it’s helpful for a writer to be able to “pitch” the work in a sentence or two. An agent will need to do that to pitch your book to an editor; an editor will need it to pitch the book to the editorial board and marketing department; the marketing and publicity department will need it in order to approach media . . . you get the picture. Once you’ve nailed down that sentence or two in your head, expand it to no more than a page or two for your queries.

Kristen Auclair
Literary Agent