Tag lines are seriously the hardest thing to write. I’ve spent the last three hours looking at tag lines of all my books on my bookshelf. Maybe a third of them didn’t even have a tagline. Many of them had a snippet of a review. I’m an unknown. I don’t have the luxury of a reviewer yet. (I have been looking into this thing on Reedsy that might help with that!) I also looked at taglines on Amazon, focusing specifically on young adult novels.
You need this tagline to be intriguing without giving too much away. You need it to be short, direct but still making sense. Oh sure, that will be easy.
This is what I noticed about taglines, those that had them anyway. They were short, direct and often a question. “What if…” statements were popular. They were successful though, I have added many to my to-be- read list.
I have come up with two and am mulling them over. (Also known as waiting for Kris to get home from work so I can ask his opinion. And sending out a couple texts to people who have read it to see what they think.)
The back cover summary is the next step to selling my book. That was pretty easy to compose this weekend. It helps that I’ve had to do my “elevator speech” to everyone who’s asked about it since I started writing it. Here is it.
“’There are some weird stories about that locker. They rarely let kids have it.’
After her mother commits a terrible crime, Misti is sent to live with her estranged Aunt and Uncle. Welcomed with open arms, Misti finds herself in a safe place for the first time since she can remember. She struggles to navigate life around her cousin, Penny, new friends and the handsome boy in her art class. On top of all of this, they assign Misti Locker 31, the haunted locker. Misti dismisses the stories. Ghosts aren’t real.
When her things are arranged for her classes, Misti suspects she is being pranked. When her lock is spinning, she blames lack of sleep.
When a 20-year-old diary appears not only giving life to the odd occurrences at the locker but brings them to her home, she runs out of explanations. With the help of her friends, Misti sets out to solve The Haunting of Locker 31.”
I’m nervous. The cover is outstanding, just needs a tagline. A tag line seems to be just as important as the cover being pretty. Then the back cover needs to sell the rest. Once they start to read, I am confident that they will keep reading. It is just to get them to do that initial purchase.
What is that cliche of a saying? The devil is in the details?