Synopsis, Summary, Log and Tag

You've finished your masterpiece, and now are looking at publishing it. The first barrier you come up with is the synopsis. You need one of these to send off to your prospective publisher at least.

If you decide to do it yourself, you will need a decent summary, one which will attract the reader and generally make them want to beat a path to your door with admiration and much coin.

Then of course, you need a log line to lure the reader into ploughing through your summary, and finally, a tag line to put on the movie poster or your front cover.

Sounds daunting, and sometimes it is. If you have a dedicated editor, they might be able to do this better for you, but really it is all a simple process to follow. Try this for size.

You've finished, so forget the book for a few days. Then wake up in the morning and do a quick write-up  from everything you remember.

 Then trim this down to 500 words, removing everything irrelevant to the actual story to produce your synopsis.

Take this trimming, and reduce it to about 100 words to feature on the back cover of your book, and also as the summary for your book on your chosen outlet.

Trim this further to one or two sentences for the log line, which should include:
The main character(s)
The world they live in
The inciting incident
The major conflict they must face
The stakes at hand.

Finally, produce 10 words or less for the tag line, which doesn't have to refer to any of the above, just be something to tickle the fancy of the reader. E.g.
"A secret more deadly than pandemic" From 2034 Unearthed.
"The Gods are returning. They are not Pleased." from Countdown to Omega
"The End of Time is Now, the Very End." The Inn of the Sixth Dan

This is a good neat link to show you the difference between logs and tags and to give you some ideas.

If you have any questions, or need help please feel free to contact us through social media.

Robert Wingfield - July 2022