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Craft a Winning Tagline | Live Write Breathe

Cook Up a Tantalizing Tagline for Your Book

Ever try to bite into a burger so large it threatened to dislocate your jaw? Chances are, you cut that sandwich down to size. Although delicious, it was just too hard to eat. In the same way, agents and editors — not to mention readers — need to bite into your story in small, easily digested portions. Grab them with a tantalizing tagline.

Crafting a Book Tagline

  • Brief – Don’t go longer than a sentence.
  • Memorable – Make it catchy.
  • Intriguing – Pique your reader’s interest.
  • True to your story – Don’t promise what you don’t deliver.


  •  Story Problem: A grieving widow longs to find happiness again (desire). When a suitor presses her with his attentions (problem), she must let go of the past (cost or risk) in order to realize her goal (solution).
  • Theme: Is it possible to find happiness by letting go of the past?
  • Pitch Sentence: A young widow wants to take a chance on a new suitor but what will it cost her to let go of the past?
  • Tagline:  Holding on sometimes means letting go.
  • Story Problem: A teenage boy whose father was murdered wants to make sense out of his father’s death (desire). When he discovers the identity of his father’s killer (problem), he must set aside his desire to seek revenge (cost or risk) in order to forgive (solution).
  • Theme: Does revenge make sense of murder?
  • Pitch Sentence: A teenage boy whose father was murdered faces a life-and-death decision when he discovers the identity of his father’s killer. 
  • Tagline: Does murder justify murder?
  • Story Problem: A young girl who wants to fit in (desire) encounters a bully in a new school (problem). When she faces her fear and confronts the bully (cost or risk), she discovers the bully’s cowardice and gains the respect of her classmates (solution).
  • Theme: Will facing our fears diminish them?
  • Pitch Sentence: When a bashful young girl enters a new school, she doesn’t count on having to face down a bully.
  • Tagline: Facing a bully wasn’t part of her curriculum.

 Action Step

 Create a winning tagline for your novel.  Don’t overthink this. Start with something and then make adjustments.

© Janalyn Voigt

Craft a Winning Tagline by Janalyn Voigt | Live Write Breathe

Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

© Janalyn Voigt
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I’m Janalyn Voigt, an author, speaker, and former social media mentor. DawnSinger and Wayfarer, the first two books in my epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, released with Pelican Book Group and will be followed by at least two more installments. I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel set in an Irish castle, but then historical fiction has a grip on me too. Being unabashedly multi-genre makes me into what some might term a reluctant rebel, but I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller.

6 thoughts on “Cook Up a Tantalizing Tagline for Your Book”

  1. My book is so complex. I don’t think I could boil it down to one sentence. He’s a restaurant owner and she’s his long lost love now reunited. She’s on a run from her husband who’s running a child prostitution and hiding behind his benevolence. Protecting her meant he could lose everything he worked hard for, and even getting killed, but he doesn’t care. So going by your formula I came up with ‘bringing down a prostitution ring wasn’t on his specials’ menu’.

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