Tuesday, January 23, 2007

TAG LINE

I'm always jealous of people with tag lines... not sure why. One of my favorite editorial illustrators, Gary Baseman (www.garybaseman.com), has a great tagline-- "blurring the lines between stupidity and genius." I think that's perfect for his work. I've always wanted my own.


Above is a painting by Baseman.

I have been trying for years to come up with something to describe my PB work... to no avail. But this week I was thinking about what I'm currently striving to achieve (the awards sort of spurred that on). This is it-- nonfiction that's engaging... that reads like fiction... that is FUN. The "fun" part stuck out for me. Then I came up with something so ridiculously simple it's stupid -- NON-FICTION THAT'S FUN. Sometimes in advertising the dumbest little taglines work best. Just look at McDonald’s "I'm lovin' it." It probably took them years to come up with that!

So, I want to know what you all think. If I go with "Nonfiction that's fun" I'll start using it everywhere. I might even redesign my website to properly display it. I want to be known as the nonfiction author who makes books that aren't the norm... whose books aren't a million pages of boring textbook text... whose books might actually get kids to be interested in the world around them and the history behind it.

Nonfiction That's Fun - Thoughts? Opinions? Heck, I could even trademark it!

meghan

22 comments:

Grace Lin said...

I like that. the only alternative I thought of was:

Meghan McCarthy, Factual Fun.

which sounds like something written in a boys bathroom stall.


Now I want a tag line too...

Blue Rose Girls said...

Ooh, I like that one Grace! Hmmm. Tough decision now.

Paul said...

Nonfiction That's Fun has a nice REMCO feel to it! Here’s a few one-liners (mostly delivered by actual kids in response to your books) that might also be used as tag lines for your work. Feel free to laugh, discard and/or trademark:

Hooray! Cool! Wow! REALLY?

Truth is not stranger than this!

That dog’s a winner!

He’s upside down and he doesn’t throw up. That’s why I like him.

Lisa Yee said...

In one of my former careers I used to work in advertising. I came up with the tagline for Old El Paso, "Pass the Old El Paso." And my boss was so excited he said, "This is what you will be remembered for!!!"

And I thought, uh, no thank you.

As for your line, I'm jumping off of something Paul wrote, but how about . . .

Meghan McCarthy writes stuff that's stranger than fiction.
(Or somthing along those lines.)

Grace Lin said...

Now that I think of it, Non-fiction that's fun sounds too much like highlights magazine. along the lines of "stranger than fiction" might be a good way to go.

I'm thinking my tagline might be:
Grace Lin, better with glasses

web said...

I am all for nonfiction that's fun, but truthfully, authors who use taglines that praise their own books always rub me the wrong way. And it tends to highlight anything they say that isn't as they describe themselves.

Just my opinion, feel free to ignore.

Gregory K. said...

I think the danger of your tagline is in pigeonholing yourself. What if you start writing fiction? Will your own tagline work against you? What if you ever write something that you want taken more seriously somehow, but your whole raison d'etre is now "fun"?

Baseman's line is broader and works whether he's editorial-cartooning (a new verb!) or designing games for Cranium or whatever else he might do.

Just two more cents worth for ya!

Anonymous said...

Meghan is fun, in fact.

In fact, Meghan is fun!

tammi said...

Meghan McCarthy, Not your mother's nonfiction.

Blue Rose Girls said...

I like all the ideas--thanks!

Just for the record, I DO write fiction. All of my books except aliens is fiction.

Yes taglines can work against authors and so on but seriously, I CANNOT continue struggling and working 7 days a week. I need to get recognized and fast... otherwise I'm giving up this game. If a tagline will help to do that in some tiny way then what the hell... I'll worry about the rest later. Authors have to market themselves because clearly the publisherd don't do it!

meghan

Blue Rose Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Rose Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Rose Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Rose Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue Rose Girls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Salas said...

I got some marketing tips last month from someone who's good at that stuff, and coming up with a brief blurb/tagline about myself as a writer was one of the tips. I've been pondering this for a month and haven't gotten anywhere.

I write poetry (my favorite) and nonfiction, as far as what's been published, and also picture books and a novel (not published). My mood/tone ranges from fun to serious to sarcastic/funny. Ack! How do I sum that up? "The poor man's Jane Yolen wannabe"? So, uh, I'm still working on it! Got some tips from another writer yesterday, and I'm going to work on it some more, so it was fun to see your post last night. Good luck!

julie said...

Lisa, you wrote, "Pass the Old El Paso"? Wow! Meghan, here is a link to a site called Taglines Galore: http://www.taglinesgalore.com/cgi-bin/tags/taglines.cgi?action=search

Blue Rose Girls said...

Blogger is acting up! Look how many posts it did. ARg. That's really cool about "Pass the Old El Paso." I'll check out the taglines. I'm determined to pigeon hole myself, brand myself, stick myself in a tiny little niche. ha!

meghan

Gregory K. said...

There's a big dif between pigeonholing yourself and branding yourself. Or at least there is in theory! But seriously, that's what I like about the Baseman line -- it's branding and not closing doors.

I'd add that it's better to pigeonhole yourself than to be pigeonholed by others, and I definitely agree with you that building awareness is a huge thing, and it's way better to attack the issue than to sit passively by.

Taglines galore??? Who knew?

web said...

Greg's distinction is spot on, I think.

I kinda like "not your mother's nonfiction." Or how about "Megan McCarthy - because nonfiction doesn't have to suck!"

;-)

Blue Rose Girls said...

ha ha, I like "Because nonficiton doesn't have to suck." Too bad I probably need to be "PC."

meghan

Anonymous said...

Megan McCarthy--factual fun-fiction

Megan McCarthy: Nonfiction, yes. Non-fun? Never!

Megan McCarthy--fiction, facts, and fun. Oh my!

Kelsey http://cocoskeeper.livejournal.com/