I’m getting ready to self-publish my first sci-fi novel THE DEEP LINK soon, and I’m preparing all sorts of materials beforehand, like:
- bios of various lengths,
- a synopsis under 1K (in case I need to convince a very busy, professional book reviewer that my self-published novel is worth their time)
- several versions of back cover copy (or blurbs)
- as many taglines and loglines as I can come up with — for promo purposes
But… what the hell are loglines and taglines? What’s the difference? And how to write them?
I found the clearest explanations of what these are in a blog post by Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy), and another by R. Ann Siracusa (@AnnSiracusa). Also, here’s some really awesome tips on writing this kind of promo materials by James Scott Bell (@JamesScottBell).
A tagline is a catchy sentence that sets the mood of your story. Like you see on movie posters.
A logline is a one-sentence description of your plot, containing your protagonist, his/her goal, the antagonist, and anything quirky* that makes your story stand out.
* That something “quirky” that makes your story stand out is called a “unique selling point” or USP, and it’s absolutely vital for it to be contained in every logline, cover copy / blurb, etc.
The loglines I’d written to guide my own writing process during drafting & revising pretty much suck for all other people, so I started brainstorming new ones. I filled some 4 pages of one-liners before I got a handful decent enough to show you.
Here are a few taglines and loglines for THE DEEP LINK. Any comments are welcome!
Surrender the familiar to conquer the alien.
When the alien becomes your second nature,
the extraordinary becomes easy.
Lose yourself to gain control.
A headstrong rebel and an alien warlord use the mental link that binds them together to gain new freedom.
When her mind is conquered by an alien warlord, a headstrong young rebel conquers a world.
When an unstoppable alien meets an unshakeable girl, their link becomes the crux of the galaxy.
Okay, that last logline applies more to the whole trilogy than just the first novel, but I’ll leave it in for your consideration.
And, hey, I showed you mine. Now you show me yours. 😉