1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Taglines for Fiction Books - Awesomely Fantastic Idea or Horribly Hokey?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by BWFoster78, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    If I were to write a nonfiction book, one of my "marketing" strategies would be to create an informative subtitle that fully explains the purpose of the book. This would give me another way to draw a potential customer to my book page. "Hey, that's exactly what I'm trying to learn." Or "Hey, that sounds like a interesting thing to learn."

    It also gives me another opportunity to incorporate key search phrases.

    Fiction books just don't use subtitles like this. However, it's not out of the question to use a tagline. A nice 5 to 10 word description of exactly what your book is about could possibly add just that extra bit of oomph to get someone to click on your link.

    I'm not sure about the idea, though, because I don't see it done a lot.

    Why not? Would you consider it?
     
  2. Guru Coyote

    Guru Coyote Archmage

    830
    176
    43
    I think it's a good idea, and I also wonder why it's not done often.
    One counter-argument might be: "If your title isn't strong enough on its own, adding a tagline won't really help."

    I think a tag-line could well be used to set the right tone from the start too.

    Also a question: is there a difference between a 'tag-line' and a 'sub-title'?
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,946
    3,659
    313
    I think in most cases it would do more harm than good for a fiction book. Non-fiction tends to be more high investment, and interests tend to be narrow and specific. Readers want more information about the book's content. People won't pick up a non-fiction book called "The Tipping Point" without knowing the information in the tagline. But a fantasy book under the same name? Sure, you might take a look.

    It's basically the same reason some magazine ads have lots of words and others are mostly a giant picture, why drug commercials run through lengthy voice overs while beer commercials just make a joke. You're selling imagination, not knowledge, so you should elicit curiosity and coolness ahead of explanation.

    Of course, even as I type this I realize there a popular series of exceptions sitting on my bookshelf, books I haven't read in fifteen years, showing how taglines can be cool and catching. "Welcome to the Dead House. It will just kill you." "Welcome to Camp Nightmare. It's the little camp of horrors!" Somehow I don't think the Goosebumps model is what you had in mind.
     
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    I think I had in mind more like a Jaws sequel: Just when you think it was safe to go back in the water.

    I still remember that after all these years, though I recall little of the movie.

    I think of it like this, though this is just my definition:

    A subtitle is an explanation of what's in the book. Like this: Power of the Mages - An epic fantasy featuring a young man's quest to save the girl and save his life.

    A tag line is a pithy expression that encapsulates the feel of the book. Something like: Power of the Mages - Escape with his life; save the girl (Note: this is horrible. If I do use a tagline, that's not going to be it.)

    Thanks!
     
  5. Guru Coyote

    Guru Coyote Archmage

    830
    176
    43
    Following your definition, yes, taglines are good then. You want to avoid subtitles (explanations), while you so want to set a mood.
     
  6. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    436
    83
    Subtitle: "A paranormal thriller of heightened senses, lost memories, and tangled alliances."

    Tagline: "He can hear a whisper a block away, and can't remember why."

    I think coming up with my tagline was one of the best things I've done for my book (okay, that's not as heavy a competition as I'd like), and I'd recommend it for everyone. Although:

    I think a good tagline for fiction is dramatic in its own right, and that can make fitting in search phrases trickier than it would be for a solid nonfiction subject. Then again, if you can make the sentence sing while getting in "dragon," "necromancer" or whatever other classic word fits, you've done both jobs.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    947
    113
    Wordwalker,

    Thanks for the input.

    Though I think it would be ideal to incorporate keyword phrases, I don't think it wise to make the attempt at the expense of drama.
     
Loading...

Share This Page