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In A Couple Sentences Tags: taglines writing resources novels

Can you describe your novel in a couple lines? Itís not easy to sum up a book in such a short space and also encapsulate the flavour of it but thatís what authors have to do when marketing their novels. Itís called a tagline and I had to write one last week for the novel Iím currently working on. I jotted down lots of ideas and possibilities, re-wrote them and tried again, looking for what would help to sell my novel to the agent I was scheduled to meet at the Historical Novel Societyís conference in London last weekend.

Taglines are often used on the covers of books or as the heading for the back cover blurb to entice readers. The idea is to draw in the reader and make them want to read more. I know it works because when Iím browsing in a shop or online I have to pick up a book that has an interesting tagline and find out more. ††

It works and looks effortless, but it isnít easy to write. It has to do a lot in a short space: it needs to provide a sense of what and who the book is about concisely.

It also needs to convey a sense of the setting, mood or tone, and theme of the book as well as defining what genre it is. So the wording has to be chosen carefully to provide not only information but also to create the atmosphere that will appeal to the type of reader who will likely enjoy the book. Add an emotional punch that grabs the reader and it will be a winner.

When I set out to write my tagline I googled information on how to write one, as well as examples to help me concoct my own. Thereís a lot written on the topic but the recurring theme seems to be that a tagline should be clear and simple. Multi-syllable words arenít necessary or desirable. It should be easy to understand so the reader gets the message. Thatís what writers must aim for.

Taglines make me think of water-filled snow globes, the ones that have a tiny scene inside and when you shake them tiny snowflakes fall on the scene. You look into them and see a tiny world inside a glass ball. If a tagline is well written it brings an image of the story to life in the readerís mind and makes them want to step into that world.

This Week On Writers Abroad
Category: Site News

Today is an important date for WA members. Itís the deadline to submit any material (poems, stories, interviews etc) we have for the new WA Magazine. Donít forget to get your writing in. The first issue will be released on 1st September. Readers can sign up to receive the magazine at:

Blog: John has jumped in on short notice to give us this weekís blog post. Itís an interesting piece about how to go about writing a script. As John points out, we all enjoy watching drama, especially television series, but few of us write for this medium. So he has given us some tips to get started.

Monday Muse: Johnís been busy this week. Heís also provided some prompts to get us writing.

Bragging Stool: Several people are sharing the stool this week. Joís novel, The Dukeís Shadow, has been featured in Membersí News in the September issue of Writers News. The novel was shortlisted in the Writers Village International Novel Award. Keeping with magazine mentions, two of our members, Jill and Alyson, were shortlisted for the 750 word short story in the September issue of Writers Magazine.

Blog Hopping Tags: writing process blog hops

My topic today deals with the end of the writing process Ė marketing. Since I was asked recently to take part in a blog hop called The Writing Process and my post for it is on my own blog this morning, the blog hop is the marketing technique thatís on my mind.

From the first time I encountered them Iíve been a fan of blog hops. Like many writers I think that it benefits everyone if writers co-operate rather than compete against each other to sell books. Few readers will only dip into one authorís work. They are looking for a steady stream of reading material. So why not find a way to promote your own work and others too?

So what is a blog hop? Itís a chain of posts by different authors on their websites at set intervals. In each post the author mentions the person who tagged her to participate and the person who will follow her. Readers can click the link the author provides to read the post by the previous author and may follow the whole chain back through different blogs if they wish. Then they can read the next one in the series when it is posted.

Blog hops are very flexible. For instance there is no set theme. Some hops ask authors to answer questions about their writing process or what they are currently working on. Or the questions for the post may cover a variety of topics. Hops may be organised by genre or publishing method with only writers from a particular genre or published in a certain way taking part or they may be open to anyone, allowing everyone to join the chain in a giant cyber conga line. †The chain doesnít need to be linear either. Authors may tag as many people as they wish to follow their post. So the hop may fan out to draw in a large number of writers.

Some blog hops are long running and well known with many authors eager to get into the chain. But anyone can start a hop. All you need to do is decide what type of hop you want to kick off, devise some questions and find at least one other person to follow after you and you have set a blog hop in motion. Itís up to those who come after you to keep it going.†

The main reason many authors participate in a blog hop is to promote their work to a wider audience than usual. But there are other benefits as well. Blog hops allow writers to make contact and get to know each other better. Answering the questions for the post may help an author to clarify in her own mind what she is writing. For instance, if one of the hop questions asks what the author is working on currently, it will make her consider the question and formulate a coherent answer. To answer the questions for the blog hop Iím currently involved in I had to decide what genre my current project is and how it differs from others in the same genre. Reaching these decisions will be very beneficial to me as I continue working on the novel.

If you are considering participating in a hop but arenít quite sure whether to do it or not, Iíd say take the plunge. As well as all the benefits it has, itís fun.

I know several of our members have taken part in blog hops. So letís hear from you now. What has been your experience of them? Are you as keen on them as I am? Will we see a Writers Abroad hop next?

† † †

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