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What is Promotional Text?

If you’ve been following my posts about how an unpublished manuscript goes to published novel, I apologize for almost forgetting to write about an important step in the process: the promotional text. Around the same time the cover is being conceived by the design team, so does the marketing team begin to think about taglines and book descriptions.

Taglines are character-limited descriptions designed to heighten reader interest in the book. My publisher develops both short and long taglines, the long ones 90 characters max and the short ones 30 characters max. The marketing team, editorial team, author’s agent, and author all give input. Below are the long taglines we came up with for MERCY ROAD:

In love with a soldier. Surrounded by danger. And taking the chance of her life.

Driving an ambulance across WWI France, she’ll either triumph or lose everything.

Amid war and deceit, love was the last thing she expected to find.

And below are the short tag lines:

Can love win over treachery?

Despite war, can love endure?

In my opinion the most important part of the promotional text is the book description that appears on the novel’s Amazon page. We worked long and hard on this, and below is the result:

Inspired by the true story of the World War I American Women’s Hospital, Mercy Road is a novel about love, courage, and

a female ambulance driver who risks everything.

In 1917, after Arlene Favier’s home burns to the ground, taking her father with it, she must find a way to support her mother and younger brother. If she doesn’t succeed, they will all be impoverished. Job opportunities are scarce, but then a daring possibility arises: the American Women’s Hospital needs ambulance drivers to join a trailblazing, all-female team of doctors and nurses bound for war-torn France.

On the front lines, Arlene and her fellow ambulance drivers work day and night to aid injured soldiers and civilians. In between dangerous ambulance runs, Arlene reunites with a childhood friend, Jimmy Tucker, now a soldier, who opens her heart like no one before. But she has also caught the attention of Felix Brohammer, a charismatic army captain who harbors a dark, treacherous secret.

To expose Brohammer means risking her family’s future and the promise of love. Arlene must make a choice: stay in the safety of silence or take the greatest chance of her life.

I’d love to hear any and all feedback. Had you heard the term “promotional text” before?

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