I've been in the process of creating some new banners with my graphic artist, Mallory Rock, for both on my site and for my publisher's product page. She asked me what my "tagline" should say.
Tagline? What the heck is an author tagline? That was my initial response, but I didn't want to admit that to her. I told her to give me some time to think about it and that I'd let her know. She gave me the weekend to come up with something. Not a lot of time, but enough... so I thought.
"Okay, this will easy. Plenty of time." I opened up my internet browser and did some "Googling" on the topic of Author Taglines. A whole slew of articles filled my window, surprising me. Geez. Apparently lots of people know about author taglines. I've been living under a rock.
(Maybe that should be my tagline--Angela Scott, the author who lives under a rock).
Still, I wasn't daunted by the process and clicked on one article after another, ready to be enlightened by the tagline process and to make sure I knew what to do.
But the more articles I read, the more I realized creating a tagline wasn't easy at all. NOT AT ALL.
Does an author even need a tagline? I don't know. I've been writing for several years now and have never had one before, so I'd have to say no. It's not necessary. BUT, now that I've been given a option to have one, why the heck not?
I'm not a well-known author. Heck, I'm hardly known at all, so a tagline might be a great thing. It can't hurt, right?
But what should it be? Where do I even begin?
For the most part, I write Young Adult books. Several of the articles said that genre should not be part of the tagline. The more I read, the more I had to agree. Yes, I write for Young Adults, but I do have a story in the works that wouldn't fit in that category, should I ever decide to finish and publish it. If I set my tagline as a Young Adult Author, then I would have to stick to that.
I decided that Young Adult shouldn't be in the tagline. A few things I did learn was to focus on the style of writing, the similar plots and themes that flow throughout each book--most authors tend to have reoccurring themes (strong female characters, small town stories, humor, defying odds, etc...).
Think about what makes you unique. Somehow that needs to be conveyed in the tagline. Like I said, not an easy thing to figure out.
I sat on it for a few days, coming up with taglines like, "Writing about the survivor in each of us" or "Characters challenging life (and death's) obstacles." But none of those quite fit. Even my graphic artist was like, "Ehh."
Then, to be honest, I gave up and forgot about writing a tagline all together. The weekend got away from me real fast, and on Monday my graphic artist asked me if I had a tagline. I think at that point, I had lost my marbles.
I messaged her with taglines like, "Buy my books, darn it!" and "These books don't suck... my momma says so."
I was cracking myself up, and even at one point told her to use, "Writing for the masses but only reaching the few." I mean, it's truthful.
Mallory said no.
I told her fine, just put Young Adult author (a no-no, but I didn't care).
Again, she said no. "You're not lame so stop suggesting a lame tagline."
So I told her to use this, "I'm not lame... my graphic artist says so."
Still, a no go.
In the end, we came up with this:
Is it perfect? No. Not exactly, but it is different and it does work for these books--most of them anyways. I'm happy with it.
Does that mean I'm stuck with this tagline forever? Of course not, things are always changing, but for now, I'm embracing it.
For further help in creating a unique author tagline, take a look at these links. They were very helpful to me.
The Importance of an Author Tagline (and How to Write One!)
Branding 101: Do You Have a Tagline?
Revisiting Author Taglines
How to Create Great Author Taglines