How to Write a Book Summary

Book Summary

There are all kinds of assignments that are given to students and for some reason, the one that seems to make most people fearful of the outcome is the Book summary.

The truth is that this is not going to be a difficult process as long as you read the book you will be writing about and follow a few guidelines that we are going to be discussing in this article.

What is a book summary?

  • The book summary could be considered the “pitch” for any book as it’s meant to be the brief description that is going to get people interested in the plot, but it will never give away any important information.
  • It should tease the reader and leave them interested in reading the contents of the book.
  • The summary is not to be confused with a synopsis. The summary is meant to be a very short and effective write-up and it can be used as the perfect promotional piece for the book.
  • You need to be able to include as much information as possible in a very brief write up.

Read the book and take notes

The first step is to read the entire book, but you should take notes of the most important things that you find in each chapter because this is going to help you create that “pitch” that is meant to help you promote the book. Make sure that you pay close attention to details that might help you come up with a great result.

Once you are done reading and taking notes, you should pick the highlights of those notes and discard anything that might not carry enough of a punch to be included in the summary.

Never forget that the purpose of the summary is to get people interested in reading the book, so you are basically selling it a potential reader.

Make sure that you can summary the plot

This is going to be very important but you need to avoid giving any important events away. You have to be vague enough to avoid spoilers but enticing enough to get people interested in reading the book.

Then you need to be able to come up with a good ending for the summary, but you can’t really give away what is going to happen, so you have to be careful to close up with a cliffhanger that is going to lure the person in and make them want to purchase the book.

Proofread before delivering

This is advice that we give for any kind of academic assignment, but it’s safe to say that a book summary needs to be delivered with perfect grammar and punctuation in order for it to have a proper effect and to be taken seriously by the reader.

Never trust software to be your ultimate proofreader as this tends to end up in many errors not being properly corrected or notified.

Get some people to read the summary

This is important because it will give you the chance to ask people for their opinion and it will let you know if they find it to be convincing enough.

Ask for their honest opinion because this is going to allow you to find out if your summary is effective enough or if it needs to be modified and enhanced.


The essential thing to remember at all times when you write a book summary is that you are basically creating a sales pitch for the book.

That is what the summary is meant to do, it should sell the book to anyone who is reading it and that is your main goal when you write it.

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