Since SSRA was founded in 2012, members have benefitted from the expertise of great marketing and promotional workshops, as well as ever-available words of wisdom from our experienced published authors and great leadership. Our founding president, Loretta Rogers, is always generous with guidance, and her advice on genre-specific needs has been invaluable for me. While awaiting the release of Mercy of the Moon, the wise words of Dylan Newton, our current president ring in my head like a gong: “Have your promotional material ready before you get your contract.” Well, I was working on it, but I wasn’t quite all there, so to speak. When SSRA’s published authors speak, it’s best to listen. You never know when you’ll get that pivotal email from an editor.
I am always wracking my brain for the perfect tagline and phrase to put on my bookmarks, postcards, and website. Time is of the essence. I need to find that line—just one line is all I really need. How to condense the essence of your book in one line, in such a way that readers will have to sample it?
In my opinion, a great tagline is like a good lyric line—something that refuses to leave your head. One of the best pop songs ever written (in my opinion), is the song, “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl”), by Looking Glass. It’s a love story within a song, about a bartender and a sailor. The musical bridge gets me every time:
“Brandy used to watch his eyes when he told his sailor’s story; She could feel the ocean fall and rise she saw its ragin’ glory; But he had always told the truth, Lord, he was an honest man; And Brandy does her best to understand.”
In forty-five words, the phrase paints a picture of love, longing and conflict. We want to give our prospective readers a word picture they can’t resist.
And I can’t resist mentioning the flip side of a good lyric, possibly one of the worst lines in Pop music:
“Sometimes when we touch, the honesty’s too much, and I have to close my eyes and cry.”
Thanks for that one, Dan Hill. The honesty’s too much? What does that even mean? Still, after forty years, this song still sticks to me like bad gravy on a spoon. We writers need to use our powers for good, not evil.
For example, we can look to our published authors for great taglines: Here’s one from Flossie Benton Rogers, for Mind Your Goddess:
“Razzle dazzle, cool jazz and hot kisses…Mind Your Goddess.” In ten words, it captures the essence of the book.
And here’s another genius one-liner from our President, Dylan Newton for Despite the Fangs:
“Can the Big Bad Wolf Live Happily Ever After, DESPITE THE FANGS?” Who wouldn’t want to read either of these books?
Every day, I am thankful for the generosity of our published writers and our leadership, past and present. Their advice has made all the difference to me, as I sing the new song of promotion and marketing.
She spent her childhood running wild on an Idaho mountainside. Although she’s lived across the U.S., she is still an Idahoan at heart and a notorious potato pusher. She has a degree in Human Services and worked as a roofer, a hoofer, a computer data entry operator and a stay-at-home mom.
Music has ruled Jennifer’s world since birth. She shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever, but soon fell in love with the lyrics, how the words fit together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle. Jennifer has dreamt of writing romances since reading Wuthering Heights at the tender age of twelve, and now lives that dream, using music on a daily basis to uplift and inspire her writing. It’s no coincidence that Ian, the hero in Mercy of the Moon, uses music to win heroine Maggie’s heart.
She lives in rural Florida with her husband and Great Dane puppy, and enjoys frequent visits from her three grandchildren and three grown children. She feverishly lobbies for the return of breeches and would really love to see her husband of thirty-five years in a pair. Jennifer can be found online at: JenniferTaylorWrites.com