Recently, I watched a Blimey Cow video and, to make a long story short, it talked about link bait. They describe it a bit more in the vide...

Link Bait and Book Writers (You Won’t Believe What They Have In Common)

Recently, I watched a Blimey Cow video and, to make a long story short, it talked about link bait. They describe it a bit more in the video, but pretty much, link bait is whenever you see a link like “10 Things You Don’t Know About Your Food (After Reading Number 5, You’ll Never Eat Eggs Again!).” Or “Her Life Was In Shambles Until She Met Him (What Happens Next Will Make You Weep).” Link bait just tries to “bait” you into clicking on it by promising something romantic, funny, exciting, interesting, or downright unbelievable.

And I got to thinking, isn’t that what some writers, particularly the ones online, do with their stories? Try to entice you with a cool tagline that may or may not do justice to the story itself, so long as you go out and read it?

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with advertising yourself or with writing a cool tagline that will make people want to read your material. You just shouldn’t stop at the tagline. Actually offer people something real.

And, as Josh said in the video, “Let the story speak for itself.” Instead of saying in the summary, “It will move you to tears,” write the story, give it a good title, let people read it, and then watch them bawl. Don’t tell them the brother’s antics are hysterical, give him the funniest jokes, make him do the craziest things, and then let your readers laugh until their sides hurt. As writers, we should “bait” them with brilliant writing and enchanting characters, not just an enticing tagline.

I’m definitely going to keep this in mind when I come up with titles and summaries, especially for my online stories, but I want to know: What are your thoughts on all of this?


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