Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tagline Appetizers

Taglines serve as one of the most essential ingredients when marketing a book, movie, or anything for that matter. 

This short phrase or sentence or question of fifteen words or less packs the power of a firework show.

sliced zucchinni stuffed with ricotta
with pine nuts and basil

Served in the very beginning of any promotion, the tagline sets the stage. It fixes the palate like an appetizer for a grand meal enticing the individual to want more. 

But, dear friend, always remember that the reader will anticipate the book to meet their expectation based on the tagline appetizer. Don't let them down.

Samples of movie taglines:
Look at the sentences/phrases below and note how they do not tell the whole story for the designated movie. Rather, they each simply give a delightful taste of what is to come. Whet the whistle, one might say.

"Someone you pass on the street may already be the love of your life." You've God Mail

"Fight. Dream. Hope. Love." Les Miserables

"Earth will Fall" Star Trek Into Darkness
"Heroes, giants, villains, true love." The Princess Bride

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." The Fellowship of the Ring

Fresh hummus served with fresh chives
and pita chips
"Where history comes to life." Night at the Museum

"There's no substitute for experience." RED

"When the world is the target and the threat is real, you can still depend on one man."   James Bond Golden Eye

"Twice the hero he use to be." The Incredibles

"Passion. Ambition. Butter. Do you have what it takes?" Julie and Julia

"A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero." The Neverending Story

"Twice the fun, double the trouble" Parent Trap-1998

Taglines are product specific, making them different from what you use for your branding. Each book should have its own tagline.

Here is the one I wrote for my latest work: Who Invited Hank?

With the ACFW conference knocking at our doors, we need to have our tagline appetizers prepared. 

Phyllo dough basket stuffed
with chicken, tomato and cheese
Benefits to a tagline:
1. When your mind goes blank, having a short tagline memorized will save the day. It will entice the listener while you fetch the second course, your pitch.

2. The tagline should not tell the whole story. The purpose simply is to entice the listener to want to hear more.

3. The tagline is only fifteen or less words. WE CAN MEMORIZE FIFTEEN WORDS!

4. When repeating the tagline to the listener at the end, you have created an association with you and your story in the listener's mind.

READY TO HAVE A GO? Let's help each other. 

Tell your tagline in the comment section. Now, no cheating, you have to do it for memory AND YOU HAVE TO SAY THE WORDS OUT LOUD as you type them.

OH, and be sure to say hi to me if you go to the conference. And if you can't go, say hi anyway in the comment section. I love to hear from you all.

photos courtesy of and Mary Vee

This blog post is by Mary Vee

Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter


Leanne Hunt said...

Hi, Mary! I'm a new subscriber to this blog and find it very helpful. My tagline is: A woman with a past, a city with a future, a soccer team chasing glory.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Leanne, yours is good.

I have kind of honed in my hook, kind of. And my pitch. Haven't thought of my tagline. I'll have to do that. :)

Mary, I'm looking forward to a BIG hug next week!

Crystal said...

Hi Mary, great post--and great pictures. Do you actually have recipes for those? Do share!

Leanne, I like yours. Here's the tagline for my first book. I'm interested to know what people think.

"All she needed, was to know if his suicide was the death of her."

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome to the Writer's Alley. We're so glad you joined us.

Your tag line is very intriguing. Did you catch my word. The very word that you will want people to say when they hear it. Because if someone is intrigued you can assume they will want to hear more.

Well done!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am saving a big hug for you!
I found having a tagline very helpful to get the jitters out. Once I say my tagline and see the listener's intrigued face (because naturally they will have one), I will be able to spit out my pitch.

But this is not the way all will approach the telling of their story. There is more than one way to get a job done:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

My mother-in-law taught me to be one on of those undefined cooks. You dump some of this, add a bit of that, taste and realize you need for of whatever. Cook until it smells right. That's basically how she taught me her world famous cheesecake recipe. It's totally to die for.

Crystal, I like the message of your tagline, but the word order is a bit confusing. Is there a way you can cut one of the "was". By doing that, I think the word order will naturally follow. Leave another comment if you'd like.

Angie Dicken said...

Fun, fun, Mary! And I love the title of your book!! Can't wait to give you a big HUG!!!!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Ditto, Ang!

Crystal said...

Thanks Mary. I'll keep working at it. I can appreciate what you're saying about the word order--but I haven't yet figured out how to lose one of the was's. However...I'm not giving up yet!

By the way, I'm one of those cooks too.

Pepper said...

LOVE this, Mare! Fantastic!!!
okay...a tagline

Can Sophia trust her immortal enemy to save the innocent?

A single American- a reformed British bad-boy, a centuries-old mystery, and some match-making mischief (okay - that one's a little long)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Mary,

Can't wait to meet you at the conference. I think we may have met really briefly in 2011. I know I met Pepper! And Casey!

Here's my tag line:
In 1911 New York, two daughters of a prosperous Irish horse breeder search for love and independence, in spite of their domineering father’s need to control their future.


Susan Anne Mason said...

P.S. Hi Leanne! Love your name. It's my daughter's name too (same spelling).

Mary Vee Writer said...

The second one may be a tad long, but it is equally delightful. Great job, as always!

Mary Vee Writer said...

It sounds good.
But what if you said
instead of "in spite of"

Your call.
Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to meeting you too! For the second time ?!?!

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Crystal said...

Mary...trying again.

"One question remains: would his suicide be the death of her?"

This is a good exercise. Good, not easy :-)