Query vs Synopsis: don’t send one in place of the other

A synopsis is not a query letter.

A query and a synopsis are two very different things and should not be replaced for one another.

Query: pitch including your hook, brief overview of the book in a captivating blurb, and short bio including your writing background and distinctions.

Synopsis: a summary of your work outlining all the plot points and major characters.

A synopsis should never be sent in place of a query. A synopsis typically does not make an agent want to request more. Your query should be enticing and intriguing, and a synopsis is straightforward and factual. You don’t want to be mixing these up or thinking a synopsis is a suitable substitute. A synopsis is useful in its own way once an agent does show interest.

Additionally, do not plunk a long synopsis into the middle paragraph of your query letter. Tailor it to be an enchanting overview paragraph that leaves the reader on edge.

I know it’s hard to take a step back and be objective of your work. Many writers think that their synopsis is important to show an agent the true strength of their book and its nuances, but I assure you that part of being a writer in today’s publishing landscape is knowing how to pitch yourself. And a query letter is the first step.

Learn query letter basics here.

7 thoughts on “Query vs Synopsis: don’t send one in place of the other

      1. If it’s a mystery then, no, you don’t want to give it away. Think of the query letter like the back blurb of a book: majorly enticing and makes you want to read/request more, more, more! And if you give away then ending then there is no room for intrigue.


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