Let Me Summarize it for Ya...
Don't be Lazy with Your Summaries
This is SO personal opinion, but heaven almighty, there is nothing more off putting than a lazy book summary. This is going to be more of a rant post, so beware and don't take any of it seriously, this is just me on my soap box.
Things I Hate, I mean Dislike Strongly:
1- Dialogue Summaries.
Yeah they might have chosen the greatest, most dramatic scene, and it's just oh so exciting, but to me it's lazy. They didn't want to write one, so they took something from the book and slapped it in there.
This goes along with number one. Like I said, they chose the "big scene" and everyone chooses the "big scene." There's nothing unique about that anymore. Read a few. It's usually a kidnap scene, or "before sex/make out" dialogue. So I'm like: welp, I've been told everything I needed to know. No point in reading the story now.
Right now, everyone going to run out there and point out books with huge number of reads who used the dialogue summary, well let's just say I'm not one of those reads... I see the summary and move on.
3- Overuse of Questions
Example: What will happen? Will they get together? How can they overcome this? When will they be free to travel the world together? Why should I even care? -So the last one, was just my response to those questions...
A good placed question can work wonder. I've seen some awesome summaries that include "A" question, as in ONE. Not five. Writers start flooding the summary box with questions, and all I'm thinking is: wow, this is way more dramatic than it should be.
4- "Author's Voice"
Meaning, the author starts talking to me. The summary is where you put a glimpse of what the story is about, not an advertisement of your personal woes. It's kind of a kills joy for me.
5- Not Doing One
Something like: Well this is my first story, enjoy. And the reader is saying in their head; enjoy what? I don't know what it is about, so how do I know if I'm even interested.
And before you all get pissed because I dissed your summary, there are excepts, and I know that, and I've done every single one of these examples, except the dialogue one. I never liked those... Anyways, I was a lazy writer. River and Rogue for a while were -Side Stories to Whatever- and nothing else. I've also had some really poorly written one, and I've worked on them throughout the years, so they're slowly getting better.
But considering this: could this go on the back of a real book? Does it remotely mimic that of a really back cover of a book. That's what the summary sections is, it's the introduction to your book. It's meant to give you a glimpse of the story without giving away major plot points, like a published book.
Alright, I'm done now. I'll step down from my soap box. As a final note, I have given books the benefit of the doubt even when the summary doesn't appeal to me. Sometimes the story is the same quality and other times, the story is awesome and it's sucks that other people are probably not going to give it a chance.
The summary and cover are the first impression. So make it a good one.