Tag Archives: Tagline

Author Toolbox 5: The Logline

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


What I know about marketing isn’t much. I’ve taken part in Facebook parties—not alone—thank goodness. I’ve posted my share of cover reveals, and blog tours posts was well. As a supporter and as an author. It’s all a learning experience and all worth doing. If for nothing else, to find out what works.

I keep notes and so should you.

Authors are expected to promote their work. A publisher will pay for the editing and cover and they will promote as far as they can. But here’s the thing, our moment in the sun is only one of many they will promote that year, possibly that month.

You may think

“I can’t toot my own horn.”

then don’t, but there May be consequences.

Low sales means you not only hurt yourself but also your publisher. And maybe the next book you pitch to them will be a pass. Why? Because they didn’t make their money back. Bottom line—a business makes money.

Stand on a soapbox and shout you wrote a book.

Be proud of it. Try to get as many readers as possible to at least read the blurb.


Start with your logline. You know the one. It’s the one sentence, stating the characters (not by name but by description) and the stakes they face if they fail or succeed, that keeps you on track when you’re writing,


If you don’t do this, then start.

I tweaked my logline into a 140 characters twitter pitch to find my readers—publishers and agents—during #PitMad and #WritePit.

Here are some examples that sold, White Light:

  • Great Aunt Alice has one dying wish. Emma, lend me your body long enough to solve my murder and maybe get lucky one last time. #PitMad Myst
  • Given a chance to prevent a murder, Emma will do anything. Even if it means, a trip back to her old room in the psych ward. #Pitmad A Myst
  • When a psychic warns two busybodies where danger lies, she doesn’t let her death stop her from joining the fun #WritePit #A Myst
  • She’s older. She’s smarter. What’s stopping her from solving her murder? Two friends on the job and the fact she’s a ghost. #WritePit #A #Myst

The goal is to come up with something that will catch a reader’s eye.

Any marketing secrets you’d care to share? I’d love to learn something new.

High Concept

I keep hearing about the “high concept” idea and I want one. There are lists to follow and statements out there that are supposed to make this all clear to us as writers. I’ll share what I’ve learned, but does it really explain what everyone is talking about?

Catchy Title

I kinda hope if I pick a title that it is catchy. Think of some of the titles that stick in your minds: Legally Blonde, Jurassic Park, Santa Clause. I admit they are pretty good and they do give you a clear understanding on what the story is about.


“Believing In Yourself NEVER Goes Out Of Style!”

“Life finds a way.”

“This Christmas, the snow hits the fan.”

The loglines above are linked back to the page I quoted them from. Check it out if you’d like to read more about the movies.

It turns out they are more vague and to the point than my previous post suggested. Here I get the catchy logline, and I still remember “Life finds a way.” That one I believed. The other two I smile when I read them, but do they summarize the whole story?

Yeah, I think they do, but I didn’t notice until I stopped to think about it.

When I posted my spiel about loglines it was . . . good vs evil and what might happen if good doesn’t win. I’m wondering if I should rethink this.

Universal Idea

An idea that touches or appeals to the masses, then add a your own twist.

Okay I can see this with Santa Clause because it answered tons of questions I’ve had since I was a kid. I did find Tim Allen very likeable, and easy to watch. The way he played the character made the bad stuff funny. Legally Blonde, I loved it too. I can’t say why. Was it revenge or that it took trying to keep a man undeserving of her before she truly realized her worth? And Jurassic Park had so many likeable characters, but it was much more terrifying.

I remember a young friend of mine asked me if he could go to Jurassic Park and he didn’t mean the movie. I told him if he went he would be an h’orderve and he didn’t understand. I finally said, “Honey, to a dinosaur you are just cheese and crackers.” Well, the little guy just laughed and laughed. Even after that he was still willing to take a chance. Now that is appeal

High Stakes

Well, I did see some high stakes during Jurassic Park, lives were2180127 on the line and Santa Clause had Christmas and believing in magic on the line, but Legally Blonde—not so much. Okay, so I don’t remember. Shoot me. 🙂

So what movies, or stories did you come across that fill all the requirements? Do you think the Harry Potter books did? How about the Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Do you have an opinion on why some missed the mark? I’d like to hear about it. As a writer I really need to know.