“What’s your book about?” is a question most often asked of authors, and if you can whip out a snappy quip in response, you may make a sale. What usually works is your log line — that one- or two-sentence summary of your 300+ page book. Developing an effective one is sometimes more of a challenge than writing the book itself. But bite the bullet and do it. You won’t be sorry.
If you go to book events and festivals, as I do, you’re competing for the limited dollar with everyone else in attendance. A quick one-liner can turn a casual glance into a sale. If you advertise online, a good quip can draw in readers who otherwise are just skimming down their newsfeed.
But for advertising, it helps to have several quick clips to keep your ad copy fresh. For that, I can use any aspect of the story instead of a summary of the entire novel.
Here are the primary elements of The Final Ride:
- Patricia Talbert, determined to remain at her new home on the Circle Bar Ranch in Texas, is looking for her new “normal,” but when her aunt Adele swoops in from New York, “normal” becomes an elusive ideal. Aunt Adele is intent on bringing Patricia back to New York. Her bumbling attempts and Patricia’s counter-measures provide the humor of the story.
- Talon Carlson’s last bull ride ended in a wreck that sent him to the ER with a broken arm and a concussion. That’s not a way for a star rider to end his career. Thanks to both internal and external pressure, he wants back in the arena, but he promised Patricia he’d never ride again. That promise provides the drama of the story.
- Patricia’s first marriage was smoke and mirrors, secrets and lies, and she’s determined not to go through that again. So when Talon keeps secret his plans to break his promise, she sees ghosts of the “marriage past” and is second-guessing her decision to marry him. This provides the tension/conflict in the story.
- From here, Patricia can give in to Adele and return to Manhattan, or she can stay on the ranch and kick Talon off–and this provides the question that makes up the logline: “When one’s desires clash with the other’s promises, who will take The Final Ride?”
Actually, it’s a pity that “Should I stay or should I go?” is already taken. It would be perfect for this. But out of the summary of the story, I can grab several ideas for ad copy.
Monday, I wrote about making ads. Remember this one?
“A New York socialite on a Texas ranch. The foreman wants her to stay, her family wants her home. Who will win?”
This line gives the “who”(a New York socialite), presents the dilemma (stay in Texas or go back to New York), and ends with a question, (“who will win?”).
But what if I wanted to emphasize the comedy in the story?
Let’s start with the image I found for Aunt Adele:
This is so Adele. Perfect for her. And it reminds me of some of the funniest scenes in my book. But the one that comes to mind the most is when Patricia raises a glass to her and says to herself, “Bring it on, woman!”
So here’s a shot at the ad copy:
Adele Cameron intends to lure her niece back to Manhattan. Patricia Cameron intends to stay on her Texas ranch. The battle of wills has begun. Bring it on, woman!
If you’re engaged in a long advertising campaign, create several ads that present different aspects of the book. This will give your potential readers glimpses of the story from different angles. You never know which will draw one in.
Here’s the ad I created, in my caffeine-deprived, state of hurry to get this post written and out — so it may not be as great as I’d like but you get the idea —
Click on it for a better view.
Critique it — how would you do it better? Or, how would you do yours better? What would you emphasize for your own book? How many different copy ideas could you develop for your release?
By the way, have you entered the drawing I’m having to celebrate the release of The Final Ride yet?
The only way you can be entered into the drawing is to sign up for my newsletter, Coffee with Linda!