I thought I had my tagline for the book I’m publishing in the fall. It’s called Midnight Magic, A Ghost and Abby Mystery and the tagline was:
Maybe having a Viking ghost for a boyfriend isn’t such a good idea …
It worked fine until I decided that I might, just might, put this manuscript in Kindle Scout, the contest Amazon runs. Even though the chances of winning and getting a wonderful publishing contract with them is small, the exposure is great.
But the problem is the contest stipulates taglines must be no more than 45 characters. So now I’m stuck. Totally tongue tied.
I spent hours producing one little postcard, but it’s worth every minute I spent, because I’m in love with it. Not that it’s perfect, but that it’s mine.
It’s a “one-sheet” for my manuscript, Black Cat Blues which I’ll take with me when I’m pitching in New York. As you can see, one side has the title my name and the tagline, and the second side has a three paragraph description, a by-line and my website.
Phew! For someone as graphically challenged as I am, this was extremely difficult. My laptop almost went through the window several – well three to be exact – times. But thanks to help from my husband PJ, my writer/artist friend Judy Hudson (who wrote me three pages of notes so that I could make my InDesign program work and never gave up on me) and fine editing from my critique partner, I put together something I’m proud of. Which is to say it takes a talented village to get me to produce a 3 by 5 inch card. Then I took it to the printers and John re-sized it for me. (John Vos at Print Three did the printing.)
I outlined it in black before I scanned it to make it show up better which sort of worked. It’s actually all white.
That one sentence on the bottom of the front was the hardest to nail. My manuscript is now sitting at 77,000 words and rendering its essence into one sentence was brutal.
That’s what a tagline is, a one sentence marketing bite that will make the reader want to read more. In the UK they call them end lines or straplines, in Italy pay offs, in Belgium baselines and in France signatures. Whatever you call them, they’re damn hard to write. Try sleeping when you have a ten varieties of the same sentence roaming through your head.
Finally, I decided that whatever sentence still kicked around in my head on printing day, would be the one. So for this project, at least, my tagline is: The dying man’s last words threaten her life. I’d prefer to have some irony embedded in it, but at least I captured some intrigue.