Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sig Lines

Thanks to everyone who's shared my excitement over this sale - you guys are the best! Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Today's scintillating topic is...sig lines. You know, those lines of text that regularly appear at the bottom of an author's signoff on emails.

While this is not something I usually spend much time thinking over, an author on one of my email groups actually threw this question out there - how long is too long? And I thought it'd be interesting to discuss. To begin with, here's my basic sig line:

Nalini Singh
SLAVE TO SENSATION - Sep 06
www.nalinisingh.com

Sometimes, I put Berkley Sensation in there, or very occasionally I'll add the blog if I think we're discussing something others might be interested in. But my limit is four lines. Three is better but four will do. Anything else and my eyes glaze over.

I totally understand the urge to put everything and the kitchen sink in there, I do. And if you're doing it for yourself, as a motivational thing - a sort of "ha, I did it!" - then go for it. I see nothing wrong with a really long sig line. Enjoy your success. Wallow in it. I certainly did some wallowing yesterday.

But if you're using that sig line as a promotional tool - ie. if you're giving people notice about your upcoming books, then prune, prune, prune. Personally, I think if you go much over four lines, people don't even notice the sig line. It becomes a meaningless block of text.

So my answer to the question would be that five lines is too long. I might of course be completely wrong, which is why I'm writing this blog. I'm interested in others' take on this too - as readers and as writers, how long do you think is too long?

9 comments :

Sara Hantz said...

Three's just right for me - can't abide ones that go on forever. In fact, I usually don't bother to read long ones. If someone includes a web and blog addy I often go check it out.

I'm also not keen on the book title being in caps, because it feels too much in my face. Unless it's on PM, of course, then I love to see it in caps!!!

Nalini Singh said...

Lol! I think CAPS makes the title stand out. If you do html and people have it disabled, bold etc doesn't show through.

Milady Insanity said...

Three's just right.

What you can do if you want to link to your blog as well, assuming you can use HTML, is make your name into a link for your blog.

But I personally think 3 is just nice. I don't like book titles in caps either.

Mel Francis said...

Okay, I ignore sig lines that aren't just name, and website or blog. I'm terrible, but sig lines are wasted on me.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

I don't do sig lines at all because I don't read them unless I know the person and then it doesn't matter. (run on sentences there I am sure) :-)

Emma Sinclair said...

I agree with 4 max, but I thought of it the other way, what info should be in it and how long does that take.

1. Obviously your name.
2. Website
3. Book to promote (or books but only 1 line)

4. If you have a catchy tag line, maybe use that. But only if it's a really good one, or perhaps a GREAT review quote.

Rosario said...

I think you're right: 3 is perfect, 4 is ok. More than that, and you start to sound a tad desperate. Especially if you start to list awards from sites no one's ever heard of, as I've seen some authors do.

Nalini Singh said...

Well, we definitely seem to have a consensus - 3 or 4. Hmm, but I think I'll stick with my caps. Maybe. *g*

Mel, Cynthia - don't you think you might be subconsciously noticing??

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Could be... I have a friend that likes to put a joke in her sig. I read that one because she changes it daily. LOL