Sunday, November 05, 2006


The tagline of a book is very important - probably as important as the cover.

For my first book, Jimmy Coates: Killer, it took ages to think up a decent tagline. Eventually, between me, my agent, Stella the genius editor, and the marketing department at HarperCollins, we settled on:


When the book came out in the US, they not only changed the title, but tweaked the tagline a bit as well. It became:


But guess what - I just found all of the notes I made back in 2003 when I was trying to come up with the original tagline. And here they are, completely unedited, complete with my notes to myself and exasperated additions:

62% different
100% lethal

Human on the outside.

An experiment, a fugitive.

Part boy, part experiment, totally lethal.

Part secret... Erm, is that even possible? Are you an idiot?

Enigma... Fatal... Fatal enigma... Secrets... something about secrets... Jimmy Coates is a boy with a secret - and even he doesn't know what it is.

Everyone has secrets. But some of us have state secrets.

Everyone has a secret. But what if you ARE a secret?

Exterminator too.

Jimmy Coates: Killer - More on his mind than homework.

Jimmy Coates: Killer - There's something his parents really should have mentioned.

His parents couldn't tell him. His friends thought they knew him.

There's something he can't control - himself. [Makes him sound incontinent.]

His mission is to save himself.

When secret experiments attack!

They can't control him. They can't kill him. To be honest, for the first half of the book they can't even find him.

That's it. I think after that I called for help, and eventually we got there. (Though I still have a soft spot for 'When secret experiments attack!')

Anybody got any better taglines than these? Just so I can kick myself for not coming up with them myself...

1 comment:

Flaky said...

You managed a whole book..but got stuck on that one phrase!:)