Tag Archives: pitch

Query (Pitch) vs. Synopsis

In a query, should the synopsis tell the whole story in a short form or should it leave mystery to the story like on the back of the book?

Queries and synopses are different things. A query should never include a synopsis.

A query is a one-page letter that explains what you’ve written, who you are, and why the agent or publisher should consider your work. A query letter will contain a pitch, which is an explanation of your story in 3-8 sentences. It’s like the text you see on the back of a DVD box. It’s designed to pique your interest. A pitch, like the back of a book or DVD, will not spill the beans regarding the ending.

A synopsis is a front-to-back telling of what happens in your story. It’s like sitting down with a 12-year-old and explaining your entire story in about five minutes. You explain who the characters are, what the conflict is, the three acts and, finally, what happens at the end (e.g., the villain dies). So, in a synopsis, you do indeed give away the ending. You would not do so in a pitch, and a pitch is what appears in a query. A publisher will probably ask for a synopsis if your query has grabbed their attention

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Book Talk vs. Book Review

A book talk in the broadest terms is what is spoken with the intent to convince someone to read a book. Book talks are traditionally conducted in a classroom setting for students; however, book talks can be performed outside a school setting and with a variety of age groups as well. It is not a book review, a book report, or a book analysis.

The book talker gives the audience a glimpse of the setting, the characters, and/or the major conflict without providing the resolution or denouement. Book talks make listeners care enough about the content of the book to want to read it. A long book talk is usually about five to seven minutes long and a short book talk is generally less than a minute long.

On the other hand, a book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. Books can be reviewed for printed periodicals, magazines and newspapers, as schoolwork, or for book web sites on the Internet. A book review’s length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essays. Such a review may evaluate the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers may use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work.

There are two approaches to book reviewing:
• Descriptive reviews give the essential information about a book. This is done with description and exposition, by stating the perceived aims and purposes of the author, and by quoting striking passages from the text.
• Critical reviews describe and evaluate the book, in terms of accepted literary and historical standards, and supports this evaluation with evidence from the text. The following pointers are meant to be suggestions for writing a critical review.

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Be a Guest Blogger here…

So, you want to guest post on Nickum’s Nook?
First: Thanks for thinking of Nickum’s Nook as a place to share your writing with the world. Glad you’re here!
Second: Follow the guidelines below, and I’ll be happy to consider your guest post!
Guidelines for Pitching a Guest Post
Note: If you don’t follow some semblance of these guidelines when pitching your post, I may or may not respond. I probably won’t, because I get a lot of Spam emails and they make it difficult to weed out the reals from the bots.
Pitch me by email at mjnickum@hotmail.com with the subject line-“Post for Nickum’s Nook”, so I don’t miss it and I’ll write you back. Your pitch should include:
1. An intro. Tell me who you are, if you run a writing site or blog, and if you’ve been published anywhere (I don’t mind if you haven’t been published; I just want to know a little about you as a writer).
2. An attached Word document of the post you’d like to pitch (please limit your post to 1,000 words or fewer); OR a topic for your pitch and a few of your anticipated copy points.
3. A 100-word (or less) bio about yourself. Include your social media links, if you have them
4. Art is good, but unless it’s yours (i.e.: your latest book cover), it needs to have a Creative Commons License and proper photographer attribution.
What Happens if Your Guest Post Is Accepted
If your guest post is accepted, I’ll write you back and tell you:
1. When it’ll be published (Nickum’s Nook posts Guest Posts on Fridays).
2. Whether any major edits need to be made (such as: swapping your art out for other art, etc.).
3. The day before your post is published, I’ll email you and tell you that it’s been scheduled, and remind you to cross-promote the post on your social media channels (as I’ll promote on mine).
4. Your post will appear on Nickum’s Nook social media mix from time to time as a repeat promotion.

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Query/Pitch/Synopsis

Queries, pitches and synopses are different things.

A query is a one-page letter that explains what you’ve written, who you are, and why the agent should represent you or publisher should consider your book. In a query letter will be a pitch, which is an explanation of your story in 3-5 sentences. It’s like the text you see on the back of a DVD box. It’s designed to pique your interest. A pitch, like the back of a book or DVD, will not spill the beans regarding the ending.

A synopsis is a front-to-back telling of what happens in your story. It’s like sitting down with a 12-year-old and explaining your entire story in about five minutes. You explain who the characters are, what the conflict is, the three acts, and finally, what happens at the end (e.g., the villain dies). In a synopsis, you do indeed give away the ending. You would not do so in a pitch, and a pitch is what appears in a query.

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What is a synopsis?

A synopsis is an outline of the plot of a book that is 2-5 pages with from 500-1250 words. If your synopsis is 25-30 pages long, the agent or editor might lose interest after the first 5, so be succinct. You don’t want your reader to fall asleep.
When you write a synopsis, first start with your pitch summary from the blurb on the back of your book cover. After the pitch summary, then write the full synopsis using a paragraph for each plot point and tell the ending.
Pointers for your synopsis:
1. Keep your language clear and active, and focus on telling the story. As your plot unfolds, write it the way you would tell about a movie to a friend, skip the dull parts and hit the main highlights.
2. Start at the first scene in the book with the main character: “From the moment she woke on that chilly February morning, Savannah Smith knew without a doubt that she would divorce her husband.”
3. Show the beginning, middle, and end with main character conflicts and resolutions. Don’t get bogged down in details. Stick to a few main characters – perhaps the protagonist and antagonist and make their core conflicts and their emotional ups and downs, with their twists and turns.
4. When you introduce a new character, give a quick character sketch: “Burly Jones is a 36-year-old workaholic whose biggest joys in life are horseshoes, women, and his motorcycle, not necessarily in that order.”
5. Include, perhaps, one piece of dialogue between the protagonist and the antagonist to give evidence of the tone of the story.

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