I’ve spent the last year using Amazon ads to advertise The Devil Particle and am just breaking even with those ads. I’ve been surprised I haven’t made money because the novel has received great reviews (including a Recommended Read from Kirkus Reviews) and is in a popular genre (dystopia). When I created the ads, I felt like I was throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what stuck, and learned that not much stuck.


Click Testing

Steve PieperThen I heard about click testing. According to Steve Pieper, click testing guru, “Click testing helps you understand what your audience wants and needs, whether they have any interest in your books, and what the most effective marketing copy is that will drive readers to buy and read your books.” Exactly what I need! So, I signed up for Steve’s Click Testing for Authors Course.

Steve’s first lesson is to click test a book’s taglines. A tagline is one or two sentences that hook the reader and entice them to read the book. Steve says that 95% of the time authors are wrong about what our audiences want. This hit home when I click-tested the ten taglines I’ve used to market The Devil Particle and discovered my taglines’ click-through rate. The click-through rate determines how many people clicked on the ad divided by the number of people who saw it. My best tagline ad had a click-through rate of .65%—almost two points below Steve’s minimal profit rate of 2.5%. Ugh!



Because of this low rate, I have to go back to the drawing—er—writing board and come up with ten new taglines to click test. I’d love your help! But first, what is a tagline? It’s a sentence or two that describes a book or a movie and grabs the attention of potential audience members and readers.


A short description of The Devil Particle:

First, if you haven’t read The Devil Particle, here’s a description:

The Devil Particle bookAn ambitious teenager determined to prove his worth. A world bent on self-destruction. Can he win the Vessel Trials and save humanity?


Seventeen-year-old Paul Salvage is determined to prove himself by competing in the Vessel Trials. If he wins, he’ll become the vessel containing all of humanity’s evil and save the world. But when a city guard murders Paul’s brother, Paul gives up his dream of competing to comfort his grieving father.


Persuaded not to drop out of the Trials by a powerful family friend, Paul competes against his forty-nine other candidates, including his girlfriend and his rival. The teens battle to the top of an abandoned skyscraper filled with mental, physical, and psychological tests and traps. But as he grapples with one horrible choice after another, Paul fears he isn’t noble enough to be the hero who will rescue everyone on Earth.


Can Paul escape the dangers and his doubts to climb to victory?


My unsuccessful taglines:

There’s a cost to saving humanity. Who will pay that price?


A deceptive skyscraper. A troubled teenager. Will the race to the top kill him?


Teenagers compete to hold all the world’s evil. All the world’s evil will be implanted in one teenager. Who will it be?


Teenagers compete for evil honor to save humanity.


One teenager wins all the evil.


An ambitious teen determined to prove his worth. A world bent on self-destruction. Can he win the Vessel Trials and save humanity?


Would you implant all the world’s evil into your body to save your family, your friends, and all of humanity?


A new technology uses one person to contain all the world’s evil. Who will it be?


Teens compete to become the vessel to hold all the world’s evil. What could go wrong?


Successful movie and book taglines

To inspire me to create new taglines, I’ve been reading many successful lines for movies and books and have realized that they describe the story’s theme. My unsuccessful lines are more about the plot and are too literal. Here are several examples of taglines from popular movies and books:

Movie taglines:

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.” – Jaws 2


“Check in. Relax. Take a shower.” – Psycho


“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …” – Star Wars


“The story of a man who was too proud to run.” – High Noon


“The true story of a real fake.” – Catch Me if You Can

Book taglines:

“May the odds ever be in your favor.” – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling


“Nothing is more dangerous than a faerie tale.” – Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth


“Power can be murder to resist.” – The Firm by John Grisham


“The human heart has a way of making itself large again, even after it’s been broken into a million pieces.” The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller

My new (hopefully successful) taglines

Keeping with the idea of story theme, my daughter and I brainstormed four new lines:

The race to the top might be his downfall.


Who will take control?


Evil has met its match.


Selfless or sinister?


I need six more! Get those creative juices flowing and send me your taglines!
I’ll pick the best ones, click test them, and let you know the results.
Thank you for your help!




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