I’ve been blogging about loglines for the past two weeks, now. And, it occurred to me that there’s another type of “line” that I ought to mention. And that is the tagline. It’s another device derived from the movies and should not be confused with the logline.
OK, you say, just what is a tagline and what’s the difference between it and a logline? A tagline is, according to Merriam-Webster, a reiterated phrase identified with an individual, group, or product. In business, its called a slogan and is designed to promote a given product or service. What do you think of when you hear, “I’m lovin’ it” or “Just do it”? If McDonalds and Nike don’t instantly come to mind you’ve probably been living on Mars for the past fifty years.
Of course, the logline is a very brief synopsis of the story designed to whet your appetite for the movie or novel.
In movies the tagline plays the same role as a product’s slogan. It is a catchy phrase designed to evoke some exciting or poignant aspect of the movie. I’ve read that the most famous movie tagline of all is, “In space no one can hear you scream.” It’s from Alien. Movie taglines are used in a variety of venues: the movie poster you see in theaters, on DVD cases, and spoken and/or displayed in trailers.
Taglines can be gleaned from a variety of sources:
Like movies, novels can have taglines also. A tagline can be a great selling tool. You can place your tagline on the cover of your novel. You can tweet it. You can even print it on business cards along with an image of the book cover and your contact information.
Here are a few examples found on the covers of novels I chose at random from my adult daughter’s library:
Try creating a tagline for your novel. It’s a great tool. And, if it happens to become one of those iconic phrases that finds itself on everybody’s tongue, you could wind up with a bestseller on your hands.