Now, I have started the habit of making the blurb and the tagline right after I've written the book/story (sometimes during or even before), and fine-tuning it during editing. Because if you wait to do it months later - it's a pain in the butt to recapture that spirit.
Sometimes, doing blurbs and taglines feels embarrassing. You hear the movie-trailer-voice-guy in your head, and it seems so cheesy. If that happens, you might be taking the thing a little too far.
For taglines (important for ads and quick-mentions), you need something catchy, but clear and concise, and something that will key into the main conflicts/themes.
For Strings Attached, I decided on this tagline:
Josie has always brought home strays. Only, this time the stray is an unwilling Australian.
The line is short, and, for romance readers, it has several big hints to the plot: Do-gooder woman and grouchy Australian (and Australian men are always sexy, even if grouchy) who resists her. It has a light-hearted, fuzzy feel to it. It also refers to home, a key theme in the book, and to stray dogs, which is a major symbol. It also eludes to the lonely rootlessness of Theo (the Australian), establishes Josie as the main character (being the one named), and informs the reader the book takes place on her turf. And, I hope, it gives the potential reader an interest in knowing more.
It also ties in to the "back cover" blurb for the book:
“You want to heal me, like one of your stray dogs...”
When Canadian rancher Josie Sergeant gets a call from her brother announcing his impetuous decision to marry, she has her reservations. But, when her brother’s would-be brother-in-law swoops in from Australia to stop the wedding, Josie has no choice but to defend the family.
Theo Sabich is bull-headed and dangerously sexy, but also damaged beyond repair… or so he thinks. He enjoys getting on Josie’s nerves, but when he finds her getting under his skin he must decide - face his demons and grab this last chance for happiness or bury himself in his lonely Outback ranch once and for all.
Under the northern lights, their attraction ignites beyond their control, and Josie finds that a one-time “no strings attached” release of passion is easier said than done when love is hanging by a thread.
But how will they bridge the difference between two worlds, let alone conquer the wounds of the past and find the courage to live again?So, I guess I'm learning how to do them, but that doesn't make me like them any more than I did. However, doing blurbs and taglines, and summaries/synopsis, is just something you will always have to do as long as you publish - especially if you're self-publishing or with a small press. There are many forums out there where you can get advice from other writers on your blurbs, which can save you the costs of seeking professional help, but whichever way you go, it pays to have solid ways to explain your book to potential readers, publishers and reviewers.