Poorly Written Headlines #5

Looks like we have a two-fer today! This is a headline and sub-headline combination for the same release. They were collectively so bad that I had to discuss them together.

I’ll examine each part separately and then discuss them together. Here are some tips for writing amazing headlines.

What this headline does right:

It offers an interesting hook that says you might want to keep reading: “Providing a New Twist for Superhero Fans.”

Go ooonnn…

This is exactly the kind of language that you want in a headline.

What this headline does wrong:

Begins with the imprint’s name. Unless you’re DC, Marvel, maybe Tor, or one of a handful of other well-known brands in sci-fi or fantasy, no one cares what your imprint is called. Save the details for the body of the release and cut a few characters off the top of the headline.

This isn’t that egregious of an error for what is really an average headline, but it blunts the force of the language.

What this sub-headline does right:

Tells us the title of the series?

What this sub-headline does wrong:

It provides no valuable information whatsoever. The sub-headline is your opportunity to add some of the details that are too wordy to fit into the headline. You had me at “Providing a New Twist…”

Close the deal!

What could be done differently:

The headline could be re-worded to bring the focus back to the hook, but this one has good bones.

The sub-headline needs a ton more effort, and I frankly don’t know enough about this series to give it an honest go — which is exactly the problem with this sub-header.

But’s here’s my shot anyway:

Superhero Fans Discover Stunning Twist in New Series

This action-packed ride promises to upend the Superhero genre with [this is where those extra details should be].

If “Action isn’t all you get,” then maybe give us a hint as to what else we might get!

Steve D

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