This blog is only for the log line, also called an elevator pitch or tagline, of your book. You know, the one that sells your book for you. One of the most famous log lines in history is: In space, no one can hear you scream. Now tell me you don't know what movie that's from and I'll tell you, you've been living under a rock for the last thirty years or so.
A great log line will make your book memorable. Please share yours with us!
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To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
Please help me in welcoming our guest
today, the fabulous Gini Koch. I have to be careful to not go all fangirl on
folks here as she’s my favorite author mainly because of her accessibility. We
met at a conference when we went head to head in a published author’s contest.
We became fast friends, talk as much as possible on the net and she sends me
all her books here in Vienna.
One of the greatest things about Gini
is her belief in log lines and how they helped sell her books to NYC and get an
agent. Gini, take it away...
of the smartest things I ever did while trying to find an agent and get book
contracts was to work up log lines for everything I was pitching. Why? Because
they work. And they work fast.
is a Log Line?
log line is a Hollywood term for the one-sentence, high-level description of a
script or an idea. It’s been adopted by the publishing industry as well, and
works exactly the same way.
do you need one?
is a business, with professionals working in it. Business
professionals are prepared. They are succinct and to the point. And one of the
key aspects of this business is that said professionals expect you to be
prepared and professional as well. Part of that is having a log line ready for
every MS you might pitch -- including those you’re still working on.
like to have what is, in essence, three log lines -- Hollywood, Comparison, and
Expanded. Hollywood uses movies or TV shows, because they’re more easily
identifiable to the majority of people. Comparison is more publishing focused,
to show that you understand your targeted readers. Expanded is the hook, the
fuller story that shows how your Hollywood and Comparison log lines will play
teach authors how to come up with these, but under the constraints of the
medium, I’m going to give examples only.
by an Alien
in Black crossed with True Lies
who enjoy Janet Voinovich’s “Stephanie Plum” series or the works of Christopher
Moore will enjoy Touched by an Alien.
manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt joins forces with gorgeous aliens from
Alpha Centauri to protect the Earth, kick evil alien butt, and save the day
with hairspray and rock and roll - not necessarily in that order.
Outland: Space Pirate
Hollywood: Han Solo meets Pirates
of the Caribbean
Comparison: Those who enjoy The
Stainless Steel Rat and the works of John Scalzi will enjoy Alexander Outland:
brewing out in space, and Alexander Outland -- the least likely hero in the
galaxy -- and his eccentric crew have to save the day, despite the fact they’d
prefer to take the money and run.
and Time Bandits crossed with Training Day
Comparison: Those who enjoy the
paranormal fantasy of Jennifer Estep and the humor and world building of Terry
Pratchett will enjoy The Night Beat.
routine patrol for undercover cop and werewolf Victoria Wolfe, turns into an
epic battle between the undead forces of good against the Prince of Darkness’
most powerful lieutenants and his Army of Evil -- the outcome of which is
dependent upon Victoria’s abilities to guess what fallen angel Lucifer set in
motion centuries earlier.
these work? Well, I hooked my agent on Touched by an Alien using my Comparison
log line, and had her asking for an exclusive when I gave her the Expanded log
line. We sold Alexander Outland by using the Hollywood log line. Call me crazy,
but I call that working.
the time into crafting excellent log lines, and you’ll get it back tenfold.
Koch lives in Hell’s Orientation Area (aka Phoenix, AZ), works her butt off
(sadly, not literally) by day, and writes by night with the rest of the
beautiful people. She writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty”
Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the
Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. As G.J. Koch she writes
the Alexander Outland series for Night Shade Books. She also writes under a
variety of other pen names (including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton,
and J.C. Koch), listens to rock music 24/7, and is a proud comics geek-girl
willing to discuss at any time why Wolverine is the best superhero ever (even
if Deadpool does get all the best lines). She speaks frequently on what it
takes to become a successful author and other aspects of writing and the
Blah, Blah, Blah Blog: http://ginikoch.blogspot.com/
Fan Page, Hairspray and Rock ‘n’ Roll:
Fan Site, Alien Collective Virtual HQ: http://aliencollectivehq.com/
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