NC Literary Hall of Fame




By Linda Rohrbough, 2012 Fall Conference Faculty, "The Second Log Line"

Linda RohrboughYou don’t have to be in this business very long before you hear about the “log line.” The log line is that one sentence that sums up your book used to generate interest from an editor or an agent. Later in your career you’ll still use your log line to talk about your book to people you don’t know, like bookstore owners or the media. A quick Google search will bring you a number of log line formulas.

The only problem is, I couldn’t make that single log line technique work for me. I tried it, though. Repeatedly. I rode the elevators with editors at conferences. When they said, “So what do you write?” I just put it out there. My one log line. And it fell flatter than a three pound fritter. We both stood there looking at it when the elevator doors opened and the editor found themselves free to flee, which they promptly did.

What was wrong? I had a single line that summed up the book. Why didn’t it work to just deliver it? I didn’t have any success until I developed a three step formula I learned by watching my New York Times bestselling author friends talk about their books. I realized I needed to start a dialog about my book that had “emotional hooks” for the listener to grasp. That’s when I developed the second log line.

The second log line adds that emotional appeal, or emotional “hook,” that a listener can grab that helps them stay with you. And it helps you start a dialog about your book, so you have interaction with the editor or agent and not just a monologue.

I have developed the second log line into a formula that works for any book, fiction or nonfiction. After all, talking about each new book is going to be a life-long skill for me. I will always have someone I haven’t met before, maybe a media person, or just a new friend, that I need to talk to about my book in a way that appeals to them. So this is a skill set that I will need as long as I am writing. I hope you’ll join me at the Fall Conference in November and let me show you my discovery of the second log line. I’ve found it quite useful, and I think you will as well.


Linda Rohrbough will lead a publishing workshop at the North Carolina Writers' Network 2012 Fall Conference. She has been writing since 1989, and has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and nonfiction. New York Times #1 bestselling author Debbie Macomber said about Linda’s new novel: "This is fast-paced, thrilling, edge-of-the- seat reading. The Prophetess One: At Risk had me flipping the pages and holding my breath." The Prophetess One: At Risk has garnered three national awards since its publication in 2011: the 2011 Global eBook Award, the 2011 Millennium Star Publishing Award, and the 2012 International Book Award. An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website:

Registration for the 2012 Fall Conference closes October 29. Register now and save!


Joomla Template: by JoomlaShack