Things That Make Me Put Books Back: The Synopsis18:57
So, a couple of weeks back, I wrote a post about the elements on a book cover that would make me decide not to take it home. (Missed it? You can check it out HERE) And I promised that I’d write a second instalment, all about the issues I can have with the back cover synopsis. So, as I’ve been too busy to finish up the next Elements Of post yet (seriously, where is all the time going at the moment? Can someone post some to me please?), here is that second post.
The Year Is... I get it. I get it. This book is historical and it’s probably amazingly researched and totally period correct. But I didn’t come for a history lesson. I came for a story inside the history. I want to know about the characters and the plot. Give me dates and historical periods in the middle of the interesting stuff, or later on. You’re not hooking me by making this book sound like a history lesson.
Name-o-rama. Books have loads of characters, and they’re all super cool and interesting and the authors want people to know about them as soon as possible. But if there are six names in one short paragraph, how do you expect me to remember, or like any of them? This is a synopsis, not a cast list!
One Line Wonder. One liners are great for gaining initial interesting in a book. Every book needs a good elevator pitch. But they’re for elevators, and unless I’m speed dating a book between floors, I need a bit more information before I can make a commitment to this adorable 500 page behemoth.
Sneaky Cover Opener. Hard cover books are especially sneaky at getting you to open them up. The back of the dust jacket is beautifully designed, covered in ornamental goodness, and perfectly useless for finding out anything about the plot. You’ve got to search the inside cover for the real synopsis. Hard covers drive a hard bargain.
Endorsement Board. Having endorsements on the back of the book to tell you that it’s super amazing and that everyone should read this book doesn’t hurt at all. But the back of the book is not a notice board. A synopsis is still going to tell me more about whether I’m going to love this book or not than a mere list of newspaper reviews endorsements. Cut the waffle and give me the info!
Blank Space. I’m sure there’s something missing from this cover. Now, what could it be? Awesome cover picture. Nice typeface. Good title. Oh, that’s right. The synopsis. Seriously, a book with nothing on the back cover is a nightmare. There’s nothing to guide you, nothing to tell you if you’ll like it or not. It’s like meeting a guy in a mask. Strange, unreadable, and just a smidgen like it’s going to kill you with an axe.
These are some of the things about back cover synopses that can turn me off a book. Now tell me, do you relate to any of these? Anything you would add to the list? What’s your biggest deal breaker when it comes to the outside of a book?