Writing a synopsis – part 1

For whom and what a synopsis is in the first place, you can find out here in this article. Today’s blog post and also the next one on this topic should help you understand how your synopsis can be useful not only to the publisher but also to you, the author.

For your questions and comments, as usual, you can use the comment boxes under each post or use the option on my Telegram channel for that: Autobiography writing , to see what and how others think about this topic. For personal inquiries please use my email: [email protected]

What is an expose for and what is it anyway?

Maybe you’ve bought a condo or a house before? A business plan for a business startup written to eventually present to your bank to apply for a loan as startup assistance.

Even an application for a new job could also be considered a form of expose from my point of view. Or, your manuscript for your first book is almost finished and you are already thinking more and more about a possible publication? I think this is probably the more exciting and interesting option for you right now, or?

Manuscript seeks publisher..

This was the motto under which I began my search for a publisher a good 10 years ago, and later aligned my author home page at the time under Males Koinsel. I had heard about exposes at that time, but I didn’t like this topic a bit. Which was then certainly reflected in the further course in this matter.

After a seemingly endless amount of unpleasant messages in my mailbox, I once again adopted a tip from Stephen King.

And it went like this:

Hammer a nail into the wall, preferably as close as possible to the desk and nicely visible from there or even when passing by. And then…skewer every single rejection right there.
At first it was a bit strange to be happy about the rejections. But as time went by, the desire to create something of his own gradually made itself felt.

Why wait, wait and wait for rejections that don’t even make it to my mailbox or email inbox?? I hadn’t really heard of literary agencies at this point, so I looked over to America to see what authors in my situation were doing there. How it all went on and what I learned from this time, I will certainly immortalize in this blog.

Would you like to write down your life story or stages of your life in a novel, but don’t really know how to start it?? Let’s talk and let me know a little bit more about your idea. Click on the photo for more info!

But now that I have shown you a way, which we could also call "the way without expose", now the information I have learned about this topic in the time after the beginning until today. But now let’s go:

Take the expose to a publishing house or an agency?

When I looked around on the Internet, I first wanted to know whether there is now a standardized guideline for writing a synopsis. But…no sign.

So I will present this topic to you as I understand it and also work with it in my coaching. There are, however, two variants, an expose beforehand and one for the publisher or the agency. But more about that later.

First, let’s assume that you have a finished, almost finished, or at least about one-third written manuscript. This brings us to the questions that will come up and that you should have clear for yourself at the very latest – the questions for your synopsis:

  • Who are your ideal readers?
  • Why are you writing this book??
  • What is your motivation behind it?
  • Which reading inspires you?
  • What kind of books can you not put down even as a reader from the hand?
  • What topic do you address with your manuscript??
  • What genre is your manuscript assigned to??
  • What is the story in short form, the plot outline??
  • Is it a self-contained storyline or are there several parts??
  • ..

All my personal coachings, no matter what the scope, start exactly with these questions or. the answer to which. And that before even a booking has taken place.
For me, these are the first steps that should be taken at all, in order to create a good basis for everything that follows. In the conversation with me, of course, everything revolves around the autobiographical novel.

About the structure of an expose can be argued..

… therefore at this point already the hint, first look at the homepage of the publishers or agencies. In the vast majority of cases, you will find information on how to submit your manuscript. And then stick to it, would be great.

Also, clarify what kind of books the publisher, the agency, will be publishing at all. convey. Are contemporary novels and autobiographies desired at all? Are there already similar books? If so, that would already be a sign to present the manuscript there.

I’m going around in circles here and around the structure of a synopsis. But I would like to interpose one more thing before I present you my variant for a synopsis.

In my opinion and experience, the synopsis should consist of content that presents you and your work to the publisher, the agency. And no false modesty. Show what connects you with your story, your first book and why it fits exactly into the publishing program.

Everyone is happy if the other person who wants something from me has informed himself in detail and knows exactly what kind of books may see the light of day here. With the agency it goes then a little bit differently. But there you may also inhale all the information you can get. Which authors and which books have already been successfully published here?.

The components of a synopsis

But now to the components and to the hint that there will be another blog article on this topic. That’s why I’ll introduce you to the contents here now once briefly and will then present them in the next blog post in combination with the structure a little more intense and detailed:

Target audience, genre& the expected volume of the whole book

Working title of your manuscript

Standard pages and where they can/should be used in the synopsis

Okay, then the topic for the second part is definitely: the structure and content of an expose. Until then, feel free to take a look at the pages of publishers& Agencies, what you can find there in hints for sending in your manuscript.

And then in the next bottle post, I’ll also go into the variation of how a synopsis can also be a great help for you as a writer, as an author, in planning, organizing& can be the structure for your first novel. Can, not must&

I’ll be covering this topic in my bottle post (almost) every Thursday and also in my Telegram channel: Writing Autobiography complementary.

So don’t hesitate and feel free to ask me your questions below in the comments. Also feel free to leave feedback if you liked the article and maybe it helped, for a little more clarity for you. If you’re interested in other book writing topics, feel free to let me know that too.

To be informed about new blog posts, article series and also news about writing your first own book, feel free to sign up for my newsletter. Just click on the photo below this text.

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I wish you a lot of joy in your writing process
and in the preparations for it.

Warm regards
Yours Manu


As a novelist, and also in my work as an autobiography writing coach, I find over and over again that most story not be written. The hurdle of the beginning just seems too big.

I want to change that.
And I direct all my activities to make the first step as easy as possible for people who want to bring their life story into the world in an autobiography.

I look forward to you and your story!


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