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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Taglines: When You Need To Hook Readers FAST

Heading to Orlando for the one of the largest conferences I've ever been a part of. SPEARHEAD Books makes its debut at the FPEA (The Florida Parent-Educators Association) Convention where 20-30 thousand folks are scheduled to attend. Christopher Hopper, Chris and Allan Miller, and I will be there swordfighting, reading, signing, and chatting. We'll also be selling books.

With that many people. We need to have ready an arsenal of 2-3 sentence hooks to tell people what our books are about. Not so easy summarizing a novel in 2-3 sentences. Here are my hooks so far. What do you think?

If you've read one of these books, can you write a better hook? Post it!

Here are mine so far:

These are the 2-3 Sentence HIGH interest teaser summaries for each book:

The Door Within:
A secret hidden in his Grandfather’s basement sends teenager Aidan Thomas on the adventure of a lifetime. *Dragons Included.

Rise of the Wyrm Lord:
Antoinette Lynn Reed is headstrong, bright, and ridiculously good at martial arts. But will it be enough to overcome a legendary, shapeshifting creature? *Knights Assembly Required.

The Final Storm:
Aidan, Antoinette, and Robby discover that there are some enemies that even the stone walls of Alleble cannot protect against. If anyone will survive the final storm, the cost will be great.
*Believe Only As Directed.

Isle of Swords:
Three clues: a sparkling green jewel, a rusty iron cross, and a lock of red hair lead a young man and a feared pirate’s daughter on a quest for his identity, as well as, a legendary treasure.
*For Piratical Use Only.

Isle of Fire:
What happens when bloodthirsty pirates and flame-throwing Vikings join forces? Declan Ross, his fiery daughter Anne, and her friend Griffin “Cat” Thorne will find out in this high seas adventure.
*May Explode If Read Improperly.

Curse of the Spider King:
Tommy, Kat, and a cast of five other teenagers have two things in common: 1) they all seem to be developing superhuman powers and 2) they are all being stalked by dark, trenchcoated figures with fiery eyes. One wrong move and any of the teens could be caught in the web of The Spider King.
*Drefids May Be Closer Than They Appear.

Venom and Song:
The Seven Elven teens are whisked away to Whitehall Castle where they’ll be trained as elite Vexbane soldiers. But without learning the secret of the Rainsong, they have no hope against the Spider King. *Elven Personnel Only.

Sword in the Stars:

The wise and powerful Shepherds of Myriad are hearing dangerous voices on the wind. A washed up former assassin and the legend he believes may not be enough to stop a jealous king from unleashing a world-ending war.
*Sword Where Prohibited.

The Errant King:
Ariana wants nothing more than to escape the nightmares of her past. High King Lochlan wants nothing more than to escape the dreary prospects of his future. But when ancient, legendary creatures attack from east and west, trapping Ariana and Lochlan in the middle, the past and future are in jeopardy for all. *Side Effects Include: Insomnia, Bouts of Dread, and Spontaneous Dueling.


Pelican said...

Love 'em! I can't think of any others right now, but if I do, I'll share them!

P.S., I'm sure your books will sell! :)

Mary Ruth Pursselley said...

I love these. "Side effects may include spontaneous dueling" - seriously, what's not to love?

Sarah Pennington said...

I love those hooks! "Side effects include: insomnia, bouts of dread, and spontaneous dueling"? "Drefids may be closer than they appear"? "May explode if read improperly"? "Dragons included"? Even if I wasn't already a fan, I'd definitely want to read these now.

The only one that I think you might want to change is the last thing for Sword in the Stars. I don't quite get the "Sword where prohibited" thing. Is there something I'm missing here?

Gabe M said...

Haha, these are great!
I love the 'fine print' at the end.
Maybe for Berinfell 3 the fine print could be
*warning: may cause crazy fans to explode if opened too quickly

Casey J. Coburn said...

Aw, darn. Some of my all-time favorite authors are all going to be in the same place, and I can't go. What a bummer...

I'll think of taglines, but you seem to have some pretty good ones right there! : )

Anonymous said...

Oh those are hillarious! They're awesome!

Random Comments said...

I think these are really cool, but people who haven't read the books won't know what "drefids" are (*Drefids May Be Closer Than They Appear).
The bits at the end are really funny. I'm not sure about Sword in the Stars' one, though, but I can't think of anything better at the moment.
I think Side Effects MAY include is better. (Errant King)
These are quite good, and I wish you luck in finding more readers.

Random Comments said...

I think these are really cool, but people who haven't read the books won't know what "drefids" are (*Drefids May Be Closer Than They Appear).
The bits at the end are really funny. I'm not sure about Sword in the Stars' one, though, but I can't think of anything better at the moment.
I think Side Effects MAY include is better. (Errant King)
These are quite good, and I wish you luck in finding more readers.

Emma McPhee said...

These are great! I wish I could be there. I'm wondering if "protect against" should be changed to "stand against" or "hold against" for The Final Storm.

Gabe M said...

I agree with Random Comments about the side effects thing. I'd also remove the colon.
"Side effects may include insomnia, bouts of dread, and spontaneous dueling"

Keep "Drefids are closer than they appear"

Maybe the 'fine print' for Sword in the Stars should be
"You can't run from yourself."

Random Comments said...

Arrgh. Double-comment!

Sarah- It's like "Void Where Prohibited," but its the only one that I think doesn't quite work.
all the others are great, though.

Anonymous said...

Haha, those are great, Mr. Batson! My brother wonders if a second sentence in The Door Within one would make it better, however.
And part of me agrees with the others here -- some terms (like Drefids)-- are completely foreign to new readers. On the other hand, new terms like those might actually be beneficial to the overall tagline... Perhaps making them want to find out what they are??

Anonymous said...

These are great! It would be really hard to bring the Berinfell books and the Errant King into a few sentences.
But these are great!

Hazel West said...

Saw you at the convention and promised to write you a review on my blog which I will soon ;) It was great to see you in person!

Avid Reader said...

Rise of The Wyrm Lord:
In addition to Aidan, Antoinette now joins the ranks of knights. But even with her skills, a powerful enemy is afoot and enemies appear a lot closer than anyone expected. *Includes: A Test of Faith and Friendship

The Final Storm:
The final storm is the test for all, and time only meant that enemies would go stronger. Faith will be tested and even frayed, friendships may be broken, legends completed and prophecies alive. Can anyone survive the final storm unscathed or are they all destined to fall?

Sword in the Stars:
Jealous is a dangerous monster. When a wound of jealousy is left to fester and grow stronger the consequences mean a world-ending war. *Includes: Voices on the wind, strong emotions and a legend that only few believe.

Have a read, let me know what you think. :) Good luck!

Elizabeth said...

Wow! Those are great hooks! I can hardly wait to read those books. (Hey, that rhymed!) So far I've only read "The Berinfell Prophosies". I'm starting "The Door Within" next! Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!! XDXDXDXD (*Screaming for joy*)

Random Comments said...

Elizabeth- You've only read the Berinfell Prophecies? You will be screaming for joy when you read his other books. followed by intense sadness when you realize that you've read them all.

Megan said...

Those sound so totally awesome! I can't possibly think of better taglines for the ones I've read and I'm definitely anticipating the ones I haven't.:] I'm wish I could come.

Avid Reader those are awesome taglines! I especially like the one for The Final Storm.

Stacie Little said...

Hi. This is a general comment on "The Sword in the Stars" and "Errant King". First off I'd like to say I'm a huge fan of your books. I started with pre-reading the Door Within series for my then tween son. I was hooked and now the whole family is trying to see who will get to read your newest books first. I'm not sure if anyone has brought this to your attention but on page 347 of "The Sword in the Stars" in a letter to Abbagael, Belliken writes of Hagen and his wife Darrow Kurtz being captured and slain. Later on page 355 Hagen Kurtz was the best man and his wife Darrow sprinkled them with strawberry blossoms. Then in "Errant King" Arianna Kurtz is their daughter; and they are taken away in the grey hour raids. I just thought you should know of this error. My family and I do really enjoy your books and we're always checking to see when you have a new book out. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and i won't be offended if you don't post my comment.

Random Comments said...

I think he mentioned this somewhere else. Maybe the Amazon page for the book.

Unknown said...

These are great, but they are actually "loglines" and not taglines.