Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Terrible Taglines

In my opinion, writing a book is relatively easy. Writing a blurb is harder. Writing a one sentence tagline is almost impossible. I bet that sounds strange; writing a little should reasonably take less effort than writing a lot, right? Wrong...

A couple of years ago I took a class in screenwriting at Stage College of Florida. We spent ample time on studying taglines for movies, and even though I spent weeks working on one for my script I was never happy with it. I can write a great award-winning screenplay, but I can't write one good sentence describing it. Forehead-slapping moment!

Right now I don't need one; I need six. My publisher has decided to update taglines, keywords, and blurbs for all books. I wouldn't mind if it started with new books and worked through the backlist as time permits, but it is a requirement for all books. I know it's for my own good, but that doesn't make it any easier. I wish they'd just ask me to write six new books instead, LOL!

The blurbs are also a problem. The new requirements state a maximum of 150 words. Most of mine are just over; 155, 160, 170... My attitude is getting the better of me here. if the blurb says exactly what I want it to, what's the big deal if it's one sentence too long? Unfortunately, statistics shows that I'm wrong. Readers are attracted to shorter blurbs, and more likely to read the blurb/buy the book if it's under 150 words.

I figured I might do better with a notebook and pen than with the computer, but the white pages are mocking me. Real life offers many distractions, like a group of birds in the neighbor's tree. Why are they so many? What are they talking about? Are they happy? Still, I need to get this done and the birds aren't likely to help. I'd better turn off the laptop, go indoors, and start working!

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