Taglines? Would they work with Books?
I’m just musing here, but I wonder if Taglines…those great little phrases that work so well with movies…would work for books too?
For example, let’s look at some great taglines used for movies over the years. Here are the first five that spring immediately to mind, in no particular order…
“In space no one can hear you scream” (Alien 1979)
“We are not alone” (Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977)
“Houston, we have a problem” (Apollo 13 1995)
“An Epic of Miniature Proportions” (A Bug’s Life 1998….I only put that one in because I’m looking at the VHS box right now…but it’s clever don’t you think?)
“They’re young…they’re in love….and they kill people” (Bonnie & Clyde 1967)
Fabulous. Created and crafted by well paid marketing types who knew how to sum a film up in the shortest number of words. So my question is this, could we as writers use the tagline to our advantage with our own work?
The obvious way is to use a tagline on our book covers. It’s been suggested many times in the past, I know, but hardly ever used. The argument for not using taglines seems to be ‘A good book title says it all anyway”. True, I suppose, but wouldn’t a great tagline add something extra?
Imagine books covers of the five examples above with those taglines added. I personally think it would be great. But, you might be thinking ‘Aren’t sub-titles taglines?’ Well, no, not really. Sub-titles in general seem to be nowhere near as exciting, creative, inventive,or witty, they are merely explanations of what the book is about. I’m not keen on sub-titles, but that’s just me.
But I have to get back to work…it’s something I’ll think about over the next week or so, but I rather like the idea of taglines on books.