Coming up with a great tag line for your novel is tough, especially for those novels that don't want to be tagged.
I decided to pick a couple of books at random from my shelves, see what tag lines the publishers put on the covers, and what I thought of them:
"When obsession turns DEADLY." (Exposure, Susan Andersen)
This is classic Susan Andersen, one of the best books she's ever written, and this one-size-fits-all tag line doesn't do it an ounce of justice. And as I write that, I have no idea what I would offer as a replacement, except maybe "Elvis!"
"Desire is the sweetest sin of all." (Slightly Sinful, Mary Balogh)
Great book, eh tag line. Desire isn't a sin, it's a natural body function, but that's another post.
"With this much heart, body, and soul, you're bound to find . . ." (A Whole Lotta Love, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, Monica Jackson and Francis Ray)
This is a themed anthology, but I would have preferred to see something about the stories, which are terrific, not about how much the heroines in them tip the scales. Disclaimer: I'm a big girl so it's definitely a personal sore spot.
"Sometimes forbidden pleasures are the sweetest of all. . ." (Beyond Innocence, Emma Holly)
I'm flashing back to the Mary Balogh tag line. This makes me want to eat a pound of M&Ms, too, not read a book. Pass.
"It brings out the animal in everyone." (Moonshine, Rob Thurman)
This one is probably the best of the random lot. I like it, it's clever and it suits the novel, and it's not one of those annoying pun tag lines.
I looked at some of my older paperbacks, and back then it seems like the publishers used little story synopses or themes as cover tag lines:
"A voice in the night, a haunted island, and a hideous legacy from the past." (Circle of Secrets, Claudette Nicole, 1972)
"Man is the dreaming animal -- with the courage to aim higher than gods . . ." (Son of Man, Robert Silverberg, 1971)
"Scandal, intrigue, and romance at a lively weekend party. . . " (The Houseparty, Anne Stuart, 1985)
I find it interesting to compare tag lines from today to the ones that were used twenty or thirty years ago. The old ones are definitely longer and more detailed, maybe because readers were more interested in content versus flash? Not sure.
I never did come up with a great line for Evermore, so I held a tag line contest for students during my last talk at a local high school. Here's the winner, submitted by Debby G.:
She's bringing sexy back.
What sort of tag line, if any, would you like to see on the cover of a book? If you've got great examples or ideas of your own, post them in comments.