While sorting through some paperwork, I came across this early draft of the synopsis of my first novel written around 2003. I had never written one before and while I had researched the process, I didn't exactly know what I was doing. At the time, I didn't have an agent or a book contract. A friend of mine who knew Kate Miciak, a well-regarded editor at Bantam, asked her if she would read and critique the synopsis. To my surprise, she said yes. I'm not holding this up as the best synopsis ever written but Kate's edits were instructive to me and I hope they will be to you, as well.
In Kate’s cover note, she said: “…it is, alas, the nature of the publishing universe these days that few agents will consider a one-shot project. Does this book stand alone? Or is it intended to be the first of a series? I would suggest that you draft something that addresses that concern. And your cover letter should probably let the agent know the audience for which this mystery is intended: Sue Grafton’s? Janet Evanovich’s?—your call, but it helps immensely to position the project immediately. Again, it is a sorry fact of the industry that books sell if they can be quickly compared to something else that is selling.”
Based on her comments, I added a note that the book was the first in a series. I have used italics to indicate Kate’s suggested additions and
SYNOPSIS OF FALSE PROFITS
FALSE PROFITS is a fast-paced mystery novel featuring Tucker Sinclair, a business woman on the fast track to partner at the prestigious downtown L.A. management consulting firm of Aames & Associates, who is wrongly accused of fraud. When people who should care distance themselves from the situation, Tucker vows to find out why. As she searches for answers, she must expose a scam and find a murderer. In the end, she makes the most painful discovery of all—that only a friend can betray you.
|The hardcover cover from Mysterious Press|
Just about everything, it seems. Gordon Aames, a
The one piece of evidence that proves Tucker’s innocence
Suddenly, Tucker is on her own. She must locate the missing evidence
|The paperback from Warner Books|
Why isn’t wealthy philanthropist Nelson Covington surprised when Tucker tells him that Dr. Polk is dead? Is Covington a do-gooder, as many believe? Or is he a snake who killed to cover up more than his plastic surgery scars?
Why is Kenny Chalmers, the husband of Polk’s office manager, Francine, so antagonistic toward the dead man
As Tucker unravels the dark secrets of Milton Polk’s past and the circumstances of his death, she stumbles across something that not only leads her to the truth, but also to a rendezvous with a killer. (Kate notes: “This needs to be set up better. We need to have a sense that, in addition to poking into the alibis & motives of the suspects, some questions have been raised about the dead man himself?)
FALSE PROFITS features a cast of
Accompanied by her sidekicks, Tucker
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