Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wicked Wednesday - creating an author tagline

I once dedicated Wednesdays to topics dealing with paranormal romance. I've talked about various things that link to it too, but I wanted to keep my focus on that genre since I dubbed it part of my author brand.

Things change. I have a manuscript in consideration by one publisher and another accepted by a second press. Neither of the stories are paranormal romance. So lately, I've been working on changing my author brand. This includes changes to my blog, profile, and my website. (I finally have a new website design, and my husband is in the midst of programming it. Yay!)

One of the most important ways to establish your brand is to have an author tagline. What's this, you ask? An author tagline is a sentence or two (usually no more than 5 to 10 words) that describes who you and your books are. It must be short and attention-grabbing.

This is no easy task. I have enough trouble creating taglines for my books, but for me? Yikes. Where do I even begin?

Here are some tips to help you create your own author tagline:
- Who are you? What's important to you? Not your writing, but you.
- What is your writing like? The genre(s)? Are there any themes? What's your style?
- Focus on what makes you unique.
- Pick about a dozen words that describe you and your writing. (Or 50 like I did!)
- Ask for opinions from other writers, friends, and family. How do others see you and your writing?
- Narrow it down to a few words, play with them together, and come up with various phrases.
- Pick your favorite one, and remember, taglines aren't forever. You can change them, and you most likely will as life goes on.

What's important to me: Family, friends, creativity, and my geeky interests.
What's my writing like: supernatural, dark, witty, twisty, romantic.

I used a thesaurus to produce a bunch of words that I played around with. Here are some of my rejected taglines. Feel free to laugh all you want!
- Otherworldly flirts and courageous spooks.
- Heroes, haunts, and heart.
- Geeks, freaks, and EEKS!
- Flirting with what goes bump in the night.

Horrible, I know. And why was I so focused on alliteration? I had a lot like that.

I wasn't satisfied. So I went back to the drawing board. Or, rather, the crumpled and scribbled upon piece of paper. And I had a good brainstorming session with a fellow writer. (Thanks so much again, Graeme!) I had to accept I could not capture everything about me and my writing in one tagline. That was the hardest thing for me to accept.

What makes me unique: I'm add twists to whatever genre I'm writing, and I'm character driven.

Here is my final choice. Let me know what you think, please!

Paranormal intrigue with a twist.


  1. I like that! Wow, never thought of a tagline for me.
    Space - the final frontier!
    Crap, that one is taken. I'll have to think about it.

  2. Ooh, that's good! Although I liked some of the rejected ones too.

    My tagline would definitely start with "Erm, well..."

  3. I have to try this. I think you did a great job.

  4. I've been trying to write one too. Can't quite get it. It's nice to have talented family too! =) Congrats!

  5. I like the final one. The others are fun too. Awesome you have two manuscripts under consideration.

  6. Aw, I kinda liked the Flirting with what goes bump in the night one. I like your final choice, too.

    Maybe I should come up with one for me. For now, having one for my book(s) will have to do. ;)

  7. Way to go with your manuscripts! My tag line came into play when my publisher came into the picture. It's "Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time" --which I thought was especially appropriate since most my works are inspired by dreams and contain fantastic elements. I'm excited to see what you've got simmering under the eyes of a publisher!

  8. Hehe! I kinda like the "flirting" one. And there's nothing wrong with alliteration. :)

  9. I like your choice. I started cracking up with the "Geeks, freaks, and EEKS!"

    I created my tagline before I even tried to build a brand. Not sure if being a squirrel helps sells books though.

  10. Taglines are tough. They're easier for books than authors. You came up with a great one.

  11. Thank you to everyone! It was hard coming up with that tagline, and now I'm still fiddling around with other ones. Eventually I'll come up with one that shines perfect in my eyes! Have a great week. :)

  12. Yessssss…

    It DEFINITELY hooks me and leaves me wanting more! And it definitely creates the intrigue. Gosh, tag lines are HARD. But you've nailed it. Really. I LOVE it!!!

  13. Taglines are HARD! On my website, mine says "Writing romance by the sea" which isn't great, but it looks pretty on the website lol!

  14. I liked the collection you posted.
    Alliteration is catchy, so it works.

    When it comes to taglines, I always think of Carol Kilgore's: Crime Fiction with a Kiss.

  15. It looks as if we're both doing battle with the same slippery eel. Those tag lines are hard critters to deal with. I liked yours.

  16. I didn't think the rejects were so awful, but the final one is way better! I added my, "Make a wish and believe" to go along with my wish flowers a long time ago. I only did it because my kids loved blowing on dandelions and it gave me a sense of nostalgia. I'm not sure if it works as a tagline, but I've been adding it to my swag. For me, it's more of a philosophy on writing and life. Dream big and believe in yourself. Same is with the characters in my story...they're always tales of dreams come true.

  17. I really like your tagline! That's a great idea to do! Though the geek one was still pretty good. :)

  18. Never really thought of a tagline . . . I like yours, though it doesn't really give me any strong sense of your writing. "Paranormal intrigue" makes me say to myself, "So is it mystery stories with a paranormal/supernatural element?" And "with a twist" makes me wonder, "What kind?" Anyone can say "twist," so it leaves me wanting a more concrete description. An "erotic" twist? "Romantic" twist? "Historical" twist? "Surprising" twist? What other element causes this twist? What makes it a twist at all?

  19. Great tagline, Christine!

  20. I like the final choice! I feel like it'd be tricky to land on one tagline that covers the variety of what I write. Fantasy, of course, but in many different subgenres across MG, YA and adult audiences. It'll be a fun thing to ponder. :)


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