“Sex in a steam room, blindfolded with an irresistible woman—what is she trying to hide?”
See that above? It’s a tagline or teaser, a short, punchy, hopefully grabby hook for my short story “Steam Heat.” It’s intended to summarize a key part of the tale, tantalize the reader in under twenty words, and tempt them to purchase it. Does it catch your interest, at least a little? Writers often use such techniques, often by raising questions such as Why or What? Here, why is the man having sex in a steam room? Why is he blindfolded? What is the woman trying to hide? Here’s Nika Dixon’s cover for “Steam Heat,” which is supposed to arouse your interest as well:
Sometimes a longer hook will be called a blurb or teaser, and it will consist of two or more paragraphs which summarize the plot. You’ve no doubt seen them on book jackets, often on the back cover.
Here are some more of my taglines for MuseItUp Publishing. All are short enough to be sent by Twitter. Use an appropriate #hashtag and it’s called a Twook:
“Across four millennia, Turtan, our greatest hero, battles to save all humanity from invincible aliens.” (Inspector of the Cross, Novel, First in the series; 15 words). Science Fiction. http://tinyurl.com/d3hbm8g
“A man sacrifices everything to save humanity, politics and emperors be damned.” (Kingdom of the Jax, Novel, Second in the series; 12 words). Science Fiction. http://tinyurl.com/d3hbm8g
“Dax fights to save intelligent aliens and a dying human outpost as WWIII rages back on Earth. (Dax Rigby, War Correspondent, 17 words). Science Fiction. http://tinyurl.com/cfa8yyy
“Rachel has a mysterious disease and everyone shuns her—what will she become?” (“The Blue of Her Hair, the Gold of Her Eyes,” 14 words) P & E SF Winner. http://tinyurl.com/7r7tunl
“Kan can revive the dead, read minds, see invading aliens, and he’s just found love.” (Dark Wizard, 15 words) Paranormal Romance http://tinyurl.com/7ftgtwg
“An expedition discovers a beautiful planet with empty cities—what terrible danger lurks there?” (More Stately Mansions, 15 words) Science Fiction http://tinyurl.com/6o7vb9o
–While you’re here, check some pages in the menu above like “MEDIA ROOM”
Sometimes a “hook” will be more substantial, a “blurb” that consists of a couple of sentences or two or more paragraphs. Often it will be a summary found on the book jacket and designed to give the reader an idea of what the story is about and interest him or her in buying it. Below is the blurb of my 115,000+ word African SF novel A Senseless Act of Beauty, published by Crossroad Press and available at Amazon.com. http://tinyurl.com/mbvltcm
Aaron Okonkwo, a Nigerian bio-botanist, travels to Viridis, an exotic world filled with scientific wonders left by a godlike race. There, he is ensnared by the delectable, deadly beauty of Nightsong, an enchanting alien female. His supreme test comes when the Confederation sends 200 ships to conquer Viridis for its boundless resources, just as the Europeans once did in Africa. Can Aaron prevent history from repeating itself, or will his efforts be A Senseless Act of Beauty?
*** BE MY GUEST AND VISIT THE POSTS BELOW OR ANY OF THE OVER TWO DOZEN PAGES IN THE MENU ABOVE SUCH AS “MEDIA ROOM” or “AUDIOBOOKS.” I hope there’s something here for everybody. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think — pro or con. ~ The Author