Never Elaborate But Sometimes Vague: Logline and Tagline


In the midst of preparing my third novel’s synopsis, logline, and tagline, I researched other author’s book covers and came across numerous taglines that inspired a satisfactory completion of my own. With all the subplots, twists, and characters it took many drafts before I successfully summarized an 80,000-word novel into one sentence, and it left me wondering if one-liners and catchy phrases are necessary.

Yes! Taglines and loglines are essential parts of a writer’s media kit. Especially Indie Authors who may not have the followers or media endorsement bestselling authors have to promote their books. But before you start crafting your own, understand taglines and loglines aren’t synonymous. They both serve different purposes, but the one element they have in common is they’re not elaborate descriptions of your book but succinct statements.


A logline is essentially an elevator pitch, a concise, succinct summary of your book in one or two (preferably one) sentence. Imagine you have only thirty seconds before the elevator reaches your destination to tell a person about your story. The logline should be a sentence of no more than thirty words that convey the main conflict, main character, and what’s at risk before the elevator door opens.


A tagline is essentially a marketing slogan (a catchphrase) that enhances your book cover. It’s not a summary of the story and is often times vague, with no hint of what the story is about. However, it does bestow a captivating tone or mood that a logline doesn’t. Essentially taglines are a tease that creates intrigue and hooks the reader’s attention, inspiring them to open your book. Like a movie slogan, a book tagline should be a short catchy phrase or one-liner that’s clear, simple, and original.

  • Simplicity – Keep it simple and neat with a few words
  • Provocative – A tagline should evoke emotion so make it memorable and intriguing. Play around with words, their rhythm, and tone
  • Originality – Don’t try to imitate other taglines. Be true to your book. Once you craft your perfect tagline, make sure it hasn’t been used or trademarked by someone else. Type your tagline in Google search to determine if it’s in use already.

Here are a few loglines and taglines from bestselling novels.

The Girl on the Train Girl on the train

Logline: Despite her struggles with memory loss, a voyeuristic alcoholic tries to help police solve the mystery of a missing woman whose house she passes daily while taking a train. (29 Words)

Tagline: You don’t know her, but she knows you

Gone Girl Gone Girl Gone

Logline: When his wife’s disappearance becomes the focus of an intense media circus, a man’s portrayal of his happy marriage crumbles and he soon becomes the main suspect. (27 Words)

Tagline: There are two sides to every story

Odd Thomas Odd Thomas

Logline: In a California desert town, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities encounters a mysterious man with a link to dark, threatening forces.(22 Words)

Tagline:  Odd by name, a hero by nature

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Percy JAckson

Logline: After learning he is the son of Poseidon, a youth must prevent a war among the gods and rescue his mother from Hades, the king of the underworld. (28 words)

Tagline: Half Boy, Half God, All Hero



Happy Writing!


Video by E. Denise Billups


14 Comments Add yours

    1. OIKOS, thank you for the reblog!! 🙂


  1. Sound advice, Denise. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    1. Thanks Michael! This writing is an adventure. Whatever I learn, I like to share! 🙂


  2. Reblogged this on e. michael helms and commented:
    Loglines & Taglines, by writer E. Denise Billups


    1. Michael, Thanks for the reblog!!


  3. narutomath96 says:

    Reblogged this on Narutomath96 and commented:
    Learning about loglines and taglines is truly interesting 😀 Thank you so much for sharing ^_^


    1. Thank you for reading narutomath96! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for the reblog!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. narutomath96 says:

        Yes, it is my pleasure to read this post, it’s so helpful for writing, hehe ^_^


      2. I realize much has been written on this topic, but there may be a few who are just starting to write. I hope it helps!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. narutomath96 says:

        Yes indeed it does 🙂 I’m right now still a novice writer so reading this concise post really means much ^^


      4. Yeah!! I hope to see your tagline on your book soon. Good luck with the writing!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. narutomath96 says:

        Thank you very much again! I will try my best of best ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

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