By Judith Briles
It’s a good question … for most, the answer is zilch. Or, the response is: what’s a tagline?
Okay … what is a tagline and why should an author care?
Ahh … now we are into the meat of it. Start with separating a tagline from a slogan. Where a slogan is usually used for a single campaign or product; taglines are used for an entity as a whole. That means YOU or your book line.
If a visitor to your website or someone who had your business card or someone who read a description or short bio on a blog or article read your tagline (if you have one), would he or should he know what you do or what you offer without an explanation?
Taglines are a hook to what you, your company, your books are all about.
There’s a commonality and there’s a book load of information delivered in just one line. They aren’t complicated and use simple, easily understandable words that a reader doesn’t have to reach for a dictionary to figure out what was just written.
For example, take Joel’s The Book Designer tagline: Practical advice to help build better books. Everything he does in the publishing field circulates around the word “practical” and “build better books.”
Nick Zelinger of NZ Graphics designs book covers and interiors. His website tagline, Where OUTSTANDING DESIGN meets AFFORDABLE PRICING shouts out that he’s reasonable in his costs and his books look great.
Betty Sargent created BookWorks, an association dedicated to the self-published author. Its tagline, Where authors, self-publishing pros and the media meet to discuss, share and network tells the visitor that it’s a gathering spot where they can connect, ask and get info.
Joan Stewart is known as The Publicity Hound and delivers webinars, a twice a week newsletter and has created a variety of tools designed for authors and book publicity. Her website tagline, Tips, Tricks & Tools for Free Publicity tells the visitor exactly what she as The Publicity Hound offers.
AuthorU.org is a nonprofit author membership organization that does virtual as well as face-to-face meetings throughout the year and offers free weekly coaching to its members. In September, it hosts the three-day AuthorUExtravaganza.org event where a variety of publishing experts deliver workshops. It’s tagline, Where Authors Go to become Seriously Successful tells the visitor that if you want to be successful, AuthorU is the place to go to—if you don’t or are just dabbling, take a pass.
My tagline on TheBookShepherd.com website is Creating Successful Authors with Practical Publishing Guidance. As an author, who doesn’t want to be successful … and would you as a visitor want practical guidance in the process?
All of these taglines have much in common
- They are simple.
- They tell or clearly imply who or what the company offers.
- They aren’t and don’t have to be cutesy.
- They are focused.
- They are one sentence and short with the majority seven words or less.
Just a few words that tell a lot. Did each of the above just roll off the tongues of the creators or quickly flop from their fingertips? Doubtful—to find the right words to convey the exact meaning may take some serious noodling. You may be halfway there or need some help.
Below are four websites that you can use to start the process. All have the same objective; each though, will come up with different ideas. It’s a start.
- With Shopify Free Slogan Maker, you enter your key word or phrase, and click to see what is generated.
- Using Slogan Generator, it encourages you to rework phrases until something “clicks” for you.
- Sloganizer encourages the user to “Sloganize” … meaning add your word or phrase and start tweaking.
- Free Slogan Generator is another site that can be tapped into.
What’s Your Website Say about You at First Glimpse?
If it has your name … it’s the beginning for you and your book. But what else? If you already have a tagline, does it reflect who you are and what you do? Or, is it stagnant or stale. Does is need a makeover? Or are you standing naked—with no tag, phrase or keywords that the SEO gods will embrace and your visitors will feel—I’m in the right spot?
As you create yours, make sure that yours delivers:
- What the ultimate benefit you want your reader/visitor to take away
- The feeling that the reader/visitor is in the right place
As you create them, share them with me in the comments or at [email protected]. It would be fun to do a follow up column with “before” and “after” taglines. A “before” could be that there is none; or it’s so vague that it stumbles to the after take away. Then, post it on your banner section of your website and start using it. It’s called branding.