Should You Have an Author Tagline?

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Hello, All!  It’s the first Wednesday of the month and you know what that means: another installment of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to unfurl (yes, I said unfurl) our fears and insecurities onto the world.

Purpose of IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Our awesome cohosts for the month:  Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence! To find out more about IWSG (and to sign up), click here.

I’d also like to take a moment to tell you: I’ve been nominated! Woo-hoo! *throws confetti*

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne,  Gina Stoneheart , Lidy Wilks and Liz Blocker have  nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and Renee Scattergood and Angela Wooldridge nominated me for the Liebster!

There are all sorts of rules to these awards. One must nominate other bloggers, answer certain questions,  watch 3 consecutive episodes of Catfish without throwing the remote at the TV, and juggle a swordfish while standing on your head.

But since I’m a renegade, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to answer two questions and list one thing that inspired me in the last few weeks.

Which fairy tale character would you rather be?
Definitely the Fairy Godmother because I’d go around turning cars into pumpkins just because.

How many books (on average) do you read each year?
I’m embarrassed to admit this but around 4. *Grabs chocolate donut. Runs from the literary police. Hides under bed.*

One thing that inspired me in the last few weeks.
I can see the end of the tunnel with this current novel! Almost done and have the next one outlined. My goal is to finish at least three novels this year and publish one. Fingers crossed!

Now. On to what I’m feeling insecure about this month: author taglines. I’ve finally hired someone to do my author website, and while looking at samples of things that I like, I realized that most authors have a tagline in their header. It’s generally a nifty little phrase that keys readers into who you are as a writer and the types of things that you write. For instance, Jackie Collins’ tagline is “She’ll keep you up all night.” When I read that, I think of page-turning, scintillating reads. Easy, peasy, right? It shouldn’t take me long to come up with a tagline for myself.

Let’s see….

Quanie Miller: B-Town’s Finest.

Quanie Miller: Southern Sass on fleek.

Quanie Miller: You Ain’t Seen Crazy Yet.

Quanie Miller: A bird in hand is worth two in a bush

Quanie Miller: Be like that sometimes.

Quanie Miller: Bringing Characters to life. Meh.

Quanie Miller: Don’t Start No Shit, Won’t Be No Shit.

As you can tell,  I. Am. Stumped.

So I did some digging around and found some really useful articles about taglines.

From Author Cynthia Herron (whose tagline is “Heartfelt, Homespun fiction”):

Think of a “tagline” as a condensed descriptor of your brand. Your “brand” is what makes you distinctive from other authors. It’s the “big picture” of who you are, what you write, the overall feel one gets when your name comes to mind. Your tagline creatively sums up all of these characteristics/factors into a few simple words that mirror you as an author.

And from  How To Attract Readers By Creating A ‘Lighthouse’ Author Brand:

A simple way to keep your novels top of mind is to create a distinctive theme tagline that draws your books together under a single overarching identity, giving them a memorable point of difference that enhances your Author Brand.

So now I’m thinking: what’s the one thing that ties all my books together, regardless of the genre? I haven’t come up with a tagline that I LOVE yet, so I’m still brainstorming. Do we need a tagline as authors? Not at all. But I think it’s a quick and useful marketing tool–especially when a new reader stumbles across your website.

What say you, folks? Do you have an author tagline? If so, share them in the comments section. Have you seen any really really really bad ones? Share those too!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

52 thoughts on “Should You Have an Author Tagline?

  1. Great topic and good points to consider. I tried for the longest time to come up with a tagline before I even really knew that’s what it was, but I still haven’t found one. I have other things in place that push my brand and make it recognizable, but I still don’t have that. However, I did determine a tagline for my first book series and of course I use it as a hash tag. Further thought of my personal/brand tagline will have to wait. Right now I’m trying to convert to a mobile ready website. There’s always something new to explore.
    Toi Thomas recently posted..Character Files from the ToiBox 90: Mr. Thornton -Opinion on PeersMy Profile

  2. I don’t…but those are good! Southern Sass sounds like you! Although it doesn’t capture the full depth of your writing. It’s tough because you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself. My first two books were for teens but my next four will be for kids between the ages of 6 and 9 or so…so I can’t use my “books for tween girls” tagline for everything.
    Stephanie Faris recently posted..Trailer Reveal for The Darkness Within by Kelly HashwayMy Profile

  3. Interesting stuff, and I don’t think I’ve ever considered this before. I’ve thought of log lines for books or entire would-be series, but never a tagline for myself.

    Judging by the reactions I get when I tell some people about my stories, my author tagline apparently should be “We don’t know where he gets it either” or “He swears drugs weren’t involved in any of this”. 😛
    Mason T. Matchak recently posted..IWSG: Change Everything.My Profile

  4. Quanie, I don’t have a tagline but I was peeing myself laughing at your funny possibilities, “A bird in hand is worth two in a bush” and “Don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit.” LOL
    I have a tagline for my GinaStoneheart blog but as far as my children’s website, no tagline. After reading this post, I am considering creating one for my other author work. I think taglines are fun. And they really do reflect our writing.
    gina stoneheart recently posted..Monday Feature and CelebrationsMy Profile

  5. Great discussion here. Taglines can be really useful for marketing. It’s probably easier for nonfiction authors to come up with a tagline that refers to their area of expertise (mine is “The Savvy Book Marketer). For novelists, I think it usually makes more sense for the tagline to refer to the type of books that you write, rather than to the author personally. Try to capture the flavor – what makes your books different from others.
    Dana Lynn Smith recently posted..Why Successful Authors Give Away Free BooksMy Profile

  6. Congratulations, Quanie! You certainly deserve the accolades 🙂 I don’t know that they’re necessary, but taglines sure can’t hurt. I started out with “Tapestries of words; yarns of youthful adventures” (pretty wordy, huh?) Then I imagined kids saying ‘Um, yeah. okay.’ So I’m still at the drawing board… I agree with many above; include the integral (and endearing) essences of your individual style, for instance: “Homespun legends of southern sass”
    diedre recently posted..The Scent of MorningMy Profile

  7. Interesting thoughts on taglines. Mine is very simply “Jen Winters Is an Indie Author” and on my sites and blog I help support other indies. It garners enough attention for me through other writers, which makes me actually feel good about my web presence. It’s not all about me and that helps me get out of bed in the morning to do this thing. I guess, being a support person for other people makes me feel a lot more accomplished as an author than trying to be all about me would make me feel.

  8. Hi Quanie,
    thanks for playing – you’re obviously the ‘go to’ person for blog nominations! I love you’re car to pumpkin idea, I always fancied being the wicked queen myself, so maybe we could square up sometime 😉
    As for taglines, I think you’ve shown me the way – brainstorming with friends obviously beats stewing in solitude.
    All the best,
    Angela Wooldridge recently posted..IWSG time!My Profile

  9. Hi, I think you’re right, you don’t need a tagline, but they do have impact. Think of big, big companies, they all have them and you immediately think of them and what they offer. So I reckon you should keep plugging away – the right one will come along when you don’t expect it 🙂
    Co-host for March 🙂
    suzanne recently posted..IWSG MarchMy Profile

  10. Yeah, I’m torn on this one…I like Southern Sass on Fleek, it’s so wonderfully ratchet 🙂
    But “You ain’t seen crazy yet” is good too…
    I never gave a lot of thought into having a tagline, you just gave me something to think about…

  11. Look at you, Miss Awards!!! Hey, there’s a tagline in there somewhere… Quanie Miller: Queen of Blogs. Or something. Can you tell I suck at that sort of thing? I do. I really, really suck at it. If you need a detailed and well-thought out, long-ish description of something, I’m your girl. If you need short and sassy and catchy, you will want to show me the door. Which leads me to say that I will probably never have a tagline unless someone writes one for me. Alas.
    Liz Blocker (@lizblocker) recently posted..Insecure Writers: FeathersMy Profile

  12. I personally love “You Ain’t Seen Crazy Yet”. Had an honest LOL with that one. It invokes humor, sass, and “ain’t” is definitely southern.
    If anything, having a tagline is just fun! It makes you feel legit (talking about insecurities). I was super excited when I came up with “Timeless stories of boundless love” because it helped me focus on creating a brand. I want readers to know me for creating historical and contemporary novels with characters that love deeply.
    Anyways, I know whatever you come up with will be brilliant!
    Dee Connell recently posted..IWSG: My book will never be like that book!My Profile

  13. Currently mine is: The writer, the dreamer, the wanabe rockstar… oh wait…
    And my website is called: My Mind
    I didn’t put this up there as a tagline specifically, but apparently it is one! Weather it’s good or not is still up for a vote.
    BTW, I vote for, “You ain’t seen crazy yet!” lol
    Maria Rich recently posted..“Difficult” scenesMy Profile

  14. Hmmm, author taglines. You’ve given me something to think about again Quanie. I haven’t given this much thought on this particular author issue until this post. But I agree with the previous posts to include words like “southern,” “humor,” and “sass” in your tagline. I also like “Quanie Miller: You Ain’t Seen Crazy Yet.” And now that I think about it, it’s a bit similar to a one line poem. You’d think it be easy to write but really it’s not. Good luck with your tagline and let me know the results.
    lidy recently posted..IWSG Day- How Do You Forget About Getting It Just Right and Just Write?My Profile

  15. Congrats on your awards! They’re well deserved. 🙂

    I watched a Catfish marathon a couple of weeks ago while removing my braid extensions and haven’t been the same since…just WHY? That show is absolutely crazy. I’m shook, and sitting here wondering if YOU’RE real, lol. No but really, I think you’re legit.

    Taglines? Mmhh, I have one that I’m comfortable with, but not absolutely in love with. It’s “All Things Written…To Encourage & Inspire”. I think it fits with my overall goal for my blog, but not sure it’s right for my fiction work as an author. It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll keep it for now.

    You are wrong for some of those taglines lol, but “Quanie Miller: You Ain’t Seen Crazy Yet” actually sounds pretty good to me. Your previous two books are unusual and fun, so that works for you.
    Faith Simone recently posted..Guest Blogger: Mary A. Perez (This Thing Called Tears)My Profile

  16. I spent a few hours brainstorming last year and came up with a tagline: “Spellbinding stories of love and imagination.” I write fantasy and paranormal romance, but didn’t necessarily want to be constrained by genre. It was really helpful for me to collect a master list of other author’s taglines when developing my own. I also focused on what I most love in the books I read and am hopefully bringing to the books I write.

    And I think if your tagline was “Don’t Start No Shit, Won’t Be No Shit” you’d get a really devoted reader base 😉
    Leslye Penelope recently posted..February. Get ink. Shed tears.My Profile

  17. oh my freaking goodness…three times last year I tried to come up with a tagline and this is how it went each and every time: I grabbed a notebook and a fancy pen and sat down. Then I tapped the fancy pen against the bright clean notebook for two hours. Then I asked my family, who came up with ridic ideas like “summer is better than winter!” or “Beth Ellyn Summer Writes Her Face Off!” yeah…I’m STILL working on it! hahaha! seems so simple and yet..not!

  18. Later this month I’m planning to talk about taglines, but for books. Later this year I’m planning to discuss author taglines. Either way, I think they are fun. When I found out I could have an author tagline, I jumped on it. Mine is “Thrilling and Romantic with Heroines of Steel.” 😀 It took me a little bit to refine it, so you’ll find yours. I think you should mention “southern” and “humor.” Whatever you come up with, I know it’ll be perfect. 🙂
    Chrys Fey recently posted..Organization Tips / IWSGMy Profile

  19. This is something I probably only subconsciously pay attention to. Or don’t pay attention to that much. I haven’t specifically thought about this in any depth, but I guess it’s a statement that sets you apart from other writers. I’ve been using the line in my Blogger profile “A juggler of words and phrases.” I guess it works for my blog, but maybe I’ll think on the tagline concept in more depth when I’m ready to start publishing and querying.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted..Sebastian Sidi on Dealing with Insecurity (#IWSG)My Profile

  20. I love these blog posts, Quanie. This is one of those author issues I haven’t got around to worrying about yet. I agree with Melissa, the Southern aspect is a distinctive part of your thematic style and setting so it would be good if your tagline featured that. Thanks for another great piece..

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