Tag Line Haiku

by Michelle Gagnon

Ah, the tagline…how I love it. For those of you who don’t know, a tagline is that little nugget on a book cover (or movie poster) that serves as a branding slogan, that memorable phrase that persuades you to buy the book (or purchase a ticket to the movie). The following are a few of the most  famous cinematic taglines:

  • “In space, no one can hear you scream.” -Alien
  • “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” Jaws 2
  • “There can be only be one. -Highlander
  • “One ring to rule them all.” -The Lord of the Rings 
  • “The truth is out there.” – The X-Files 

One thing most people don’t know is that authors rarely get to choose their own taglines. So far, my books have been graced with the taglines, “Anyone can end up in the…BONEYARD,” and “We are our greatest enemy.” (THE GATEKEEPER). My latest release, DON’T TURN AROUND, actually had the tagline changed once some of the top buyers weighed in on it; we ended up with, “Off the grid/On the run” (which I love).

It struck me, as I recently perused the vast array of titles at my favorite independent bookstore, that there’s a game in here somewhere. A way, if you will, to combine two of my favorite things: taglines and haikus. And you’re all invited to participate.

Just so we all understand the rules: a haiku is, according to the standard definition, “A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.”

For the sake of simplicity, feel free to combine book tag lines with film tag lines, if they seem to belong together. But make sure to attribute the tags to the appropriate sources.

I’ll be composing my haiku with a nod to some of my favorite titles (I excerpted the first part of the tagline when necessary; feel free to do the same).
Have fun, I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Past evil still lives.  
Beauty is only sin deep. 
Everything ends here.  

(Respectively, Heather Graham, THE UNHOLY; Ken Bruen and Jason Starr, SLIDE; and Patrick Lee, DEEP SKY.)

On a side note, if you’ll permit a digression: my publisher is currently giving away galleys of my upcoming release, DON’T TURN AROUND. There are a few different ways to enter, and each only takes a few minutes. 

On Twitter, just retweet this:
@EpicReads Off the grid. On the run. DON’T TURN AROUND by @michelle_gagnon http://vsb.li/zJ3A8c RT for a chance to win!

On Facebook, Like this page.

And/or on Goodreads, Click here to enter.

Feel free to forward to anyone who might want a free book!

18 thoughts on “Tag Line Haiku

  1. I’ve heard such terrific early reviews on your new series, I’m thrilled for you, Michelle. I’ve tweeted your ARC giveaway. I’m at conference in Anaheim & brain mushed, so no Haiku from me. But on my next YA series with Harlequin Teen, my tag line is – They are our future, if they survive. (The next evolution of mankind, psychic Indigo kids are secretly hunted on the streets of LA by a fanatical church.)

    Sending you lots of good wishes on your upcoming release.

  2. regarding my book, Faithful Warrior

    Now he’s a preacher
    But once he was a Marine
    Save life or take it?


    He swore to protect
    But he’s disavowed killing
    Faithful Warrior

  3. i love haiku! here are three…i’ll come back later to tell you what they are…

    Party on dudes!
    You never know where you’ll end
    up. Size does matter.

    Don’t panic. Free your
    mind. One man saw it coming.
    Unleash the fury.

    So the show has been
    cancelled. But the adventure
    is just beginning.

    thanks for the fun!

  4. thank ya!

    here are the answers:
    Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, my Book – Pop Travel, Godzilla

    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Matrix Reloaded, I, Robot, Hulk

    Galaxy Quest

  5. Do not turn around (Gagnon, Don’t Turn Around)
    Be afraid, very afraid (The Fly)
    The truth is out there (The X Files)

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