You know that urge you get to clean at the end of spring when the days start to turn nice and you just want to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in? Well, that’s how Floridians feel at the end of August. There’s just a hint of chill in the air, a break from the heat and humidity that makes you want to throw on a sweater, drink hot chocolate, and yes, chase every cobweb out of the place.
Maybe that’s why I had the urge to paint, but first I had to clean the baseboards. Ugh, all the nooks and crannies! Then I got sidetracked by reading for class – Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.
Gladwell discusses how ideas become ‘the next big thing.’ What I found intriguing was the idea of making things ‘sticky,’ how to keep the idea ‘top of mind‘ for customer. How do you make McDonald’s the first place you think of when you want a warm, juicy hamburger, or even just lunch?
This is a challenge for writers because we don’t deal in immediate tangibles like a warm, juicy hamburger. It’s particularly difficult for writers who don’t write easily categorized books, but include elements from multiple genres. How do you neatly sum up a complex story into a compelling tagline or slogan – one that’s short, memorable, intriguing, and still an accurate idea of what the consumer can expect?
Impossible! Well, no, not exactly. I see these and can immediately picture the associated film.
- “Who you gonna call?” – Ghostbusters
- “There can be only one” – Highlander
- “To boldly go where no man has gone before” – Star Trek
- “The truth is out there.” – The X-Files
So why do we need taglines? They’re the headlines on your book landing page, the subtle sales pitch in any post, and the regular update on Twitter.
How do you write a tagline?
- Not the same as a log line or short blurb
- Killer taglines
- Cook Up a Tantalizing Tagline
- A fabulous tool to check its appeal!
My next book, Fighting Mad, is due out in December and needs a good tag line because not only is it complex, it’s the end of a trilogy. So I’m delving into the nooks and crannies of earlier copy. Let me know what you think. Would you click through to read more if you read…?