Friday, 27 July 2012

Tags: No, not the ones on your luggage….

But the ones we attach to ourselves as Authors. The identity tag we associate with our brand so that our reader knows exactly what to expect from us and what is likely to be the common thread in each and every one of our books.
An Author tagline conveys to our reader in just a few words what genre we write in and how our books will make them feel. If we get it right, we can use it on all our emails and promotional material, making it easier for readers to find our books, our backlist, and to buy our next book.
We want our reader to make an informed choice when they buy and read our books. It used to be enough to choose a genre, think up a suitable title and pick out an appropriate cover – but not anymore. In order for your reader to have a positive and fulfilling reading experience they need more information. They need to know in advance what to expect between the covers. They need it spelled out – and in as few words as possible.
Phew, easier said than done!
The Author Tagline should contain the key words that you want to associate with yourself, your brand, and your writing. It should be descriptive, evocative, appealing, informative, exciting, concise and immediate.
So this week I have been tossing and turning and mulling over my own Author Tag.
I have my key words: Scottish, Scotland, contemporary, fiction, romance, romantic, humour, fun, light romance, dark humour….
So far I have toyed with: Janice Horton -

Contemporary romance in a Scottish setting – with humour

Contemporary Scottish romance – with humour

Light Scottish Romance – Dark Contemporary Humour

Light Contemporary Scottish Romance with Dark Humour

Light romance. Dark humour. Scottish heroes

Dark Humour. Light Contemporary Romance

Dark Humour. Light Romance. Today’s McHeroes

Dark Humour. Light Romance. Hold out for a McHero

 Okay, I think I like the last one best – but what do you think?
And do you have a tagline or any clever tips for coming up with one?
If you do have one - will you share - please….?

Before I go completely tagging crazy…!!


Paula Martin said...

Hi Janice - I like "Light romance. Dark humour. Scottish heroes" best!
I just use the three words 'Passionate about Romance' as my tag.
BTW Really enjoyed Bagpipes and Bullshot and posted a review on Amazon :-)
Hope all's okay with you!

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Yes - I like the last one too! QuirQuirky and fun - if thats what you are trying to convey. My own is 'Supernatural Thriller Writer' - not very exciting but it does tell it hw it is. My blog is 'writing saved my life' Great post and good luck with your decision!

Sheryl Browne said...

I like "Light romance. Dark humour. Scottish heroes", too. Scottish conveys passion to me - in the rugged setting sense, if you get my drift.

My tagline I stole from a fab review from Jontybabe: Fabulous, funny, heart-breaking ~ Romantic Fiction. Couldn't have thought that up in a million years. Thank you, Jonty! :) xx

Anne Gallagher said...

Light romance. Dark Humour. Scottish Heroes. I think that conveys it all. I do like the last one, the McHero line is killer, but I don't think people would get it, unless they knew you wrote about Scots.

My author line is Regency Romance Writer. Can't get any more basic than that.

Kit Domino said...

I like the last one, Janice. It's fun. Have never thought about an author tagline before reading this. Shall now have to invent one for myself, which is going to be difficult as I write in several genres. Author With To in Many Camps just doesn't work. Any ideas welcome.

Janice said...

Hi Paula - I love your tagline - passion and romance work perfectly together don't they! I'm THRILLED with your review of Bagpipes & Bullshot on Amazon - it has made my day (doing a happy dance around my laptop right now!) I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much! xx

Janice said...

Pat - I loved your blog and thought the words 'Chiller' and 'Thriller' very catchy in your blog description. You are so right, saying what it is - is the most important thing about tagging.

Janice x

Janice said...

Sheryl - wow, that is a great tag line. Jonty is brillant at this!

Anne - yours is basic but succinct. The only problem I can see with it is that other Regency writers might use it too...? I think you might be right about the McHero... :(

Thanks Kit - oops, what have I started - now you'll likely spend the whole weekend thinking up tag lines!

Janice xxx

Emily Harvale said...

I like Light Romance.Dark Humour. Scottish Heroes the most. It's really difficult isn't it? But you can always change it.
My tag line is : I write about love, fun, friendships, doubts, dramas, sex and romance - life really, without the boring bits.
I'm covering all my bases!!! :-)
Good Luck with finding yours.
Emily x

Jane Lovering said...

I seem to be with the majority 'Light Romance. Dark Humour. Scottish Heroes' is my favourite. I think it's a combination of the least number of words covering the widest number of topics - brevity seems to be the key to author tags (who has the time to wade through masses of what is, let's face it, self promo guff?)
My tag (although I don't use it that much)is Dark Psychological Romance - with jokes. I guess it's down to whatever works for you - and all your variations conjure images of delicious, amusing Scottish gentlemen...oooh, kilts...

Janice said...

Emily - yes, you really are covering all bases there! I like 'Real Life - without the boring bits!'

Hi Jane - thank you for your comment - I agree that brevity is important and am just happy that I don't have to type the word 'psychological' in my tag!

I was feeling really confident and happy about using Light Romance. Dark Humour. Scottish Heroes. But just now on Twitter, it's been suggested I transpose the first two sections and have - Dark Humour. Light Romance. Scottish Heroes.

Arrrrrggggg!!!!! What's a girl to do...?

Janice xx

Elpi said...

Hi Janice,
I also like "Light romance. Dark humour. Stottish heroes." It's short and to the point. I think it works well.

I don't have a tagline, mainly because I write across genres and on a variety of subjects. I also write non-fiction which confuses the whole mix a little. Perhaps when I am a little more established and indeed when a novel is accepted for publication I can start worrying about a tagline!


Melanie said...

A bit late jumping onboard here but I like "Light Romance. Dark humour. Scottish heroes", too. Which is more important the romance or the humour? If it's the romance, then you've got it.

Mine, while not as exciting as yours, is "where fact and fiction meet".

Anonymous said...

Janice - how interesting! Like Kit I was oblivious to the need for an author tag. Looks like it needs to be needs to be 'wider' than the tag line for a book, which makes it difficult to have it snappy too. I agree with the Tweeter that dark before light is better but not sure why. Somehow feels like it's going in the right direction? McHero is fun but to0 reminiscent of popular burger chain IMO. My eye also droped to yOur last post - tempting to incorporate Men in Kilts ;)
Very thought-provoking!

Unknown said...

Hi Janice- I use lots of Tags for my various posts on my Blog, but haven't given much thought to Tags for me as an Author. Your post has triggered those thoughts. Thank you. HB

Janice said...

Hi Elpi - yes, yours is a complicated one - but it's never to early to start thinkin' 'em up!

Melanie - I know you've had your tag a long time and - and it's so clever and so 'you'. You've given me something to think about there - actually, I think the romance is the most important factor...

Ali - glad you enjoyed the kilts! But omg - I hadn't even thought about the Mcburger connection. Yikes!!

Hi Harvey - do let me know what you come up with for your tag!

Janice xxxx

Nicky Wells said...

Hi Janice, late to the party (sorry) but I like "Light romance. Dark humour. Scottish heroes." best. Also works if you transpose the first two, depending on where you place the emphasis.

While I get the McHeroes and think it's witty, I might personally be inclined to stay clear of it. I remember the 'Mc' tag used at college when people took "McJobs" or read "McBooks." Totally inappropriate to the Scottish connection, of course, but perhaps inevitable given the Big Mc out there... Just a thought, though.

My tag? "Romance That Rocks Your World!" XX Looking forward to seeing what you decide in the end. :-)

Linn B Halton and Lucy Coleman said...

Scottish heroes to love and laugh with ....? Life, Love and laughter in a Scottish setting....?

My tag line is 'Life, love and beyond ... but it's ALWAYS about the romance'

I too liked the McHeroes bit. 'Dark' means heavy to me, a bit scary even?

You'll know when you have found the right one, something clicks! Good luck Janice.

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info and food for thought. I need to give this more consideration for myself. It has changed over the years as my writing has evolved.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. It's great to meet you!

Alessandra said...

Hi Janice, new follower from Carol's blog. I'm kinda partial to light romance, dark humor, scottish heroes. Well, that's my 2 cents anyway, looking forward to get aquatinted with your books. :)

Janice said...

Nicky - I do think you have the perfect tag as it's simple, so you, and so spot on for what you write. And yes, now I see that using the Mc would be tacky!

Linn - thank you for your suggestions - and for the fabulous ones you emailed to me having scribbled them down in the dark during the night(!)

Karen and Alessandra - so lovely to meet you in the blogisphere and thank you so much for your lovely comments here. xx

Janice said...

Thank you for all the new follows this week as well as all the lovely comments - all are really appreciated!

Janice xx

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janice - always good to read about these sorts of things - only being on the edge of the industry .. it's useful to know about taglines etc .. and that succinctness that we all need. Cheers and good luck - Hilary

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I like second to the last best; but the last is awesome too.

On my writing business cards I put the line..."Happily ever after done write."

Blanche Claire said...

Good info, many thank you to the author. It is incomprehensible to me Candle now, but in general, the particular usefulness and importance is overpowering. Thanks again and good luck!

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