Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Writing a Good Tagline For Your Book With Q

Good morning! A heart felt thank you to Talina for welcoming me back to Bookin' It today to talk about the importance of taglines. Let's get started shall we!

There is no denying the fact that the success of any book advertisement lies mostly in the tagline. It's the first words readers see on a shiny new cover. But before we go any further let’s touch upon what exactly a tagline does for an author and their publisher, if traditionally published.

Taglines are the one or two lines that are often on the front of a book cover. They are used as another way for authors and publishers to draw the interest of readers to their book. Taglines should attract the reader and compel them to read the rest of the cover or blurb. Taglines should be catchy using various key points within your line to let the reader know the tone of your book. In example: romantic, adventurous, dark or edgy to label a few.
When you ready yourself to write your tagline try to remember that your soul purpose is to catch the reader’s eye at first glance. Words in taglines should act as road signs for the reader. It should say it all in that one liner. For example, if an author is promoting a newly released paranormal romance book with a thriller edge, the tagline of their book could read as follows:

“…A paranormal tale of gripping emotions that could forever shatter two lives and One Great Love”

 This tagline will attract the right readers who are on the lookout for books with a blend of romance, paranormal and thriller all in one. If you are target readers who are interested in mainly the paranormal romance genre with a sci-fi touch and aren’t concerned about the thriller end, then the tagline could read like this:

“Two Lives, One Great Love… Discovered Centuries Apart.”

Anything other than the prospects should not be included in the tagline. Also remember that you should always balance out your hero and heroine. Leaving out one or the other could lead to losing a huge number of potential readers. 

Your goal when writing your tagline is to create an instant book seller. You’re a writer, your creativity and good writing skills will serve you well when writing your tagline.

According to research from the top three major publishing houses, five times more book readers read just the tagline compared to those who read the entire back book blurb. Because of this, it is wise to invest time and patience in the writing of a good tagline. If the tagline isn’t good enough you could lose your buyers before you even had a chance to wow them with your unique story.

Also consider your tagline as a booster for your blurb. If by chance your blurb’s content is not strong enough in the reader’s eye,  a good tagline will boost the curiosity of a reader and possibly undo any indecisiveness caused by the blurb for the reader. This is why I cannot stress enough the need for a powerful tagline.

Also, the tagline should be focused on the book and not the author or publisher that is selling the book. The reader’s interest should be reflected and they should feel that their wants are being directly addressed. Publishers know their target audience, and will craft their advertisements specifically geared towards that market; a market which you are or may soon be a part of. You should do the same. So, ask yourself “What audience am I targeting?” and “How is my book unique to all the others out there?”

Remember how we spoke about the tone of your tagline above? Answering these two questions is another chance to give your readers a snapshot of the highlights in your book. This is an important quality of well-phrased taglines. Readers look out for these things when they are thinking of buying a book. You need to know where your book will fall in the marketplace; you need to know what makes it unique so that readers will want to pick it up. It’s always helpful to present your novel from a marketing perspective. 

If inculcating all these factors have made the tagline long, it should be remembered to write the books highlights in bold. Quick Word to the wise, do not make your tagline overly long or beyond three sentences. In fact, one sentence is recommended. If a visual is placed in the cover, (i.e., cover art based on your story's premise) your tagline should be a good complement, as a picture speaks a thousand words. But care should be taken that the tagline should say some part of the story and the visual should say the rest. Don’t repeat the tagline or the cover. 

Now, here is the catch twenty-two. Too much cleverness should NOT be applied when creating a tagline. Did that throw you off? Let’s dig a little deeper into that statement and see the ‘why’ behind it. Cleverness could lead to multiple twists and turns that deviate from the real tone you set out to write, leaving the reader confused. Always keep in mind that the reader will judge your ability to write according to your tagline and book blurb. Not to fair for the author, but still true.

Before you begin, you can start by brainstorming on what your tagline should highlight. While it may sound simple to write a tagline or two for a book, the idea behind writing a good tagline is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of your book. However, sometimes it's not as easy as it sounds. Successful taglines often merge a commonplace phrase with something unique to the book. No misleading information should be included in your tagline either. Remember too much cleverness could be too much of a good thing.  Studying ads in publications for your genre is a great way to come up with ideas for your hook and another way to develop it from a marketing perspective.

The tagline should give out a positive feeling to the reader. Negativity should be totally excluded as it not only creates a negative impression but the mind will also not be receptive friendly to your book. It sometimes confuses the mind as it interprets a negative meaning of the message being delivered. Because of this, confidence should be reflected in the tagline. Include words that can hook your readers pulling them in and making them want more.

So, despite the artistry involved in literature, and the often subjective process in publishing, the hard truth is that this is a sales-driven industry. Remember, the reader needs to feel the emotional tug, they want to know more, and a reason to rush off to buy your book. How do you do this? Use the emotions -- reach right out and twist the heart just enough to hook them.

As always, here's to your book promoting success!!! Your welcome to leave a comment if you have any questions or have any suggestions to share.

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1 comment:

  1. Great advice and really well written. I am in the process of writing a tag line and this has helped me tremendously.

    Author Terri Whitmire


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