Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Summaries, Taglines and Blurbs, Oh My!

I hate writing "blurbs" (I even hate that word), and taglines are deceptively easy looking, but end up being a pain in the arse. How do you write a few lines (or as few as 12 words) to encompass the whole of the work - and be attractive enough to make people examine your book closer?

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.

Good luck!

No comments:

Questions? Comments?

Questions? Comments?
Request a Review PDF!

Labels

:p (2) #samplesunday (25) 12 Flavours (15) 1K a Day (3) 1NS (1) 1Place for Romance (1) 2010 in Review (2) A Christmas Carol (1) A Funny Thing Happened... (7) About Me (3) Academics (1) Ads (1) Advice (2) After Life (2) All I Want (13) All Romance Ebooks (2) Alphamales (1) Amanda Wood (3) Amazon (6) American History (1) Andre Jute (1) Andy Rane (1) Angst (1) Anniversaries (3) Announcements (50) Anthologies (9) Aretha Smith (1) Artists (1) Ashley Rae (1) Ashlynn Monroe (9) Author Blogs (2) Author Portrait (1) Authors (5) Authors Behaving Well (1) Autumn (1) Awards (2) b4e (1) Bats (2) Behind the Books (2) Betareaders (3) BethAnn Buehler (5) Birthdays (1) BL Morticia (2) Blair McDowell (1) Blog Hop (14) Blog Novel (1) blog stuff (45) Blog Tours (3) BlogTalkRadio (2) Blurbs (4) Bob Mayer (1) Book Recommendation (7) Book Reviews (11) Book Spotlights (1) Bookmarks (2) Books (5) Britain (1) Bubbly (15) Business (21) Busy (2) call for submissions (1) Canada (6) Canadian Writers (4) Carl J Franklin (1) Carla Caruso (1) Categories (1) Cerise DeLand (1) Change (1) Changeling Press (1) Character Interviews (2) Characters (1) Charity (11) Chats (6) Childhood (1) Children (1) Christmas (13) Christopher Craven (2) Clare Dargin (2) Classics (2) Coffee (1) Coffee Breaks (33) Coffee Corner Forum (1) Coffee Time Romance (4) Cold War (1) Comments Please (3) Computers (2) Contact Me (11) Contemporary (8) Contests (31) Conventions (1) CoolMain Press (3) Copyright (2) Coral Moore (2) Cormack's Luck (5) Cover Artists (2) Cover Contests (2) Covers (18) Craft (1) Creepy Tales (1) CTR (1) Current Affairs (1) Current Work (18) Dakota Franklin (1) Dana Michelle Burnett (1) Dana Taylor (1) Dark (1) Dark Fantasy Romance (1) Dark Romance (1) Dating (1) Deanna Wadsworth (2) Death (1) Debbie Macomber (2) Debra Webb (1) Decadent Publishing (21) Declan Conner (1) Desi Moon (1) Ebooks (6) Editing (13) editors (2) Education (3) End of an Era (1) Epic Fantasy (1) epublishers (11) ereaders (2) Erotic (29) Erotic Romance (3) erotica (3) Events (12) Excerpt Sundays (43) Excerpts (56) Experiment (2) FaceBook (6) Fade to Black (1) Fall 2010 Project (26) Family (2) Fan Sites (1) fanfiction (2) Fantasy (6) Features (7) Feedback Needed (5) Fill the Shelves (1) First Dates (1) Folklore and Mythology (2) Food (2) Forums (3) Free Fridays (38) Free Reads (2) Free Stuff (5) Freebies (1) Freelancing (1) friends (5) Fruitcake (1) Fun Facts (1) FYI (2) Gary Vanucci (1) Geek Hero (1) Gemma Coole (1) Genre (9) George Berger (1) Giveaways (12) Global (1) Goals (7) Good causes (4) Good for the Goose (29) Good Ideas (2) Good Times (3) GoodReads (10) Gracen Miller (1) Grammar (1) Great Ideas (1) Greetings (1) GTKY (8) Guest Blog (2) Guest Blogging (1) Guest Blogs (5) Guest Excerpts (6) Guest Posts (22) Guest Recipes (1) Guest Spots (6) Halloween (10) Harry Potter (1) HEA (2) Hiatus (8) Historical Romance (2) History (5) Holiday (26) holiday romance (22) Holiday Shorts (52) Holiday Showcase (1) Holidays (22) Hope (1) How Tos (4) HQ (2) Humour (3) In Flanders Fields (1) In the News (1) Indie (4) Ingrid Weaver (1) Innovation (1) inspirational romance (2) Internet (4) Interviews (61) Invitations (8) Invites (6) Ireland (2) Issues (1) Jackie M Smith (3) Jasmine Aherne (4) Jean Brashear (2) Jennifer Wilck (1) JERR (1) Jessica Coulter Smith (3) Jessica Subject (1) JL Oiler (4) Joanne Troppello (7) John Howard Griffin (1) John McCrae (1) Joyfully Reviewed (3) Just for Fun (1) Juvenile Fiction (2) Kathleen Ann Gallagher (2) KB Authors (1) Keep in Touch (2) Kidding Around (1) Kids (1) Kiki Howell (1) Kindle (3) Kindlegraph (1) Krista Ball (2) Labour Day (2) Laments (1) Lanie Barnes (1) LaVerne Thompson (1) Leanne Dyck (3) Leanore Elliott (3) Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy (3) Legal Issues (1) Legos (1) Lending (1) Leslie Soule (1) LGTBQI (4) Life (5) Like Magic (18) Lila Munro (5) Lindsay Marene Ordone (1) Links (20) Liquid Heat (2) Lisa Day (1) Lisa de Nikolits (1) Lists (1) Literacy (1) litfic (1) Love (1) m/m (1) magazine work (1) Mahalia Levey (1) Marketing (16) Marriage of Convenience (1) Maureen Betita (1) Meatless Mondays (18) Megaposts (1) Melissa Keir (2) Memberships (1) Memes (2) Memoir (1) Memories (3) Mentions (2) Merfolk (1) Michel Prince (2) Milestones (3) mission statement (2) Monetizing (1) Motherhood (7) Motivation (12) Movie Reviews (2) Movies (4) Muses (1) Music (1) Musings (1) Must Love Books (3) Mysteries (1) Nancy LaPonzina (1) NaNo 2011 (1) NaNo2011 (6) NaNo2012 (2) NaNoWriMo (30) NASCAR (1) Nathalie LeBlanc (1) Nathan Morissey (1) Nature (3) Nerd Power (1) New Releases (6) New to Me Authors (1) New Years (3) News (2) Newsletter (6) Nominations (1) Non Fiction (1) Non-Fiction (3) Non-Romance (10) Nova Scotia (1) Observations (7) Off Topic (2) Open Thursdays (12) Opinion (7) Paperback (10) Paranormal (22) Parenting (10) Patrica Yager Delagrange (1) Personal Saturdays (11) Pet Peeves (1) Pictures (5) Pink Petal Books (5) Piracy (2) Pirates (1) PK Morris (1) Plagiarism (1) PNR (3) Poetry (2) Politics (1) POV (1) PR (14) Press Releases (1) Print (1) Process (1) Profession (1) Progress (14) promo ops (1) Promos (31) Promotions (35) PSAs (1) publishers (2) Publishing (2) Questionable Decisions (1) Questions (11) Quotes (1) Random Thoughts (7) Rants (6) Rawiya (2) Reading (2) Real Life (30) Realm of Ashenclaw (1) Rebel Ink (43) Recipes (18) Recommended Blogs (1) Reflections (2) Release Celebration (34) Remembrance Day (2) Reminder (1) Reminders (3) Research (4) Resolutions (1) Retrospectives (1) Reviews (10) Rhiannon Ellis (1) RIP (1) Romance (8) Romance Fiction (2) Romantic Comedy (2) Romantic Literature (1) Romantic Suspense (1) RomFan Reviews (1) Ruth Madison (3) RWA (1) Sales (8) Samples (1) Sara York (1) Savings (1) Sci-fi (3) Seasonal (1) Secret Project (2) Self-Publishing (4) Series (3) Shadonna Richards (1) Sherlock Holmes (1) Shifters (2) Short Pieces (23) Show Cases (1) Show Me The Money (1) Sickness (2) Siobhan Kinkade (2) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1) Six Sentence Sunday (6) Sizzling Hot Book Reviews (1) Sizzling PR (15) Social Justice (2) Social Media (1) Social Science (1) Speculative Fiction (1) SQUEE (3) Stacey Thompson Geer (4) Star Trek (2) Stephanie Draven (1) Stephanie Queen (1) storytelling (1) Strings Attached (32) Stuart Aken (1) Submissions (5) Summer 2011 Project (1) SuperRomance (1) Suzzana C Ryan (2) Swag (2) Taglines (1) TBR (1) Teachers (5) Teaching (4) Television (1) Textbook Romance (21) Thanksgiving (4) The Onion (1) The Romance Reviews (1) Thinking Out Loud (2) Thrillers (1) Thursday 13 (6) Titles (2) Topaz (1) Topical Tuesdays (20) Tot (1) Toys (1) Traditionals (1) Trailer (11) Translation (1) Tributes (1) TRR (3) TRS (2) Twitter (1) Twitter Pals (1) Tyhada's Bookshelf (1) University (2) Unwrapping Scrooge (40) Upcoming (28) Updates (10) Urgent (1) V-Day (18) Valentines Day (8) Vampires (2) Vera Jane Cook (1) Victorian Piece (2) Victoriana (2) Video (1) Vincent Price (1) Votes request (1) Waiting (1) Waking Kara (14) War (1) WB Yeats (1) Weather (2) Websites (3) welcome (1) Wellness (2) Wendy Smith (4) Western Romance (1) WHP (21) Wicked Nights (14) Winners (2) Winter 2011 Project (2) WIP (27) Women's Fiction (1) Wordless Wednesday (6) Words (1) Worthy Cause (1) Wounded Hero (1) Writing (19) Writing Tips (18) Writing Wednesdays (23) WWI (1) YA Paranormal (1) You Gotta Read (2) You Never Know (1) YouTube (3) Yule Be Mine (6) Zombies (1)