Scholars and sources claim that William Shakespeare invented as many 1700 in his published and performed writing career. Language is dynamic and words are invented all of the time. Or, in cases like “Google” reinvented through accidentally misspelling the word for the number, googol. When words, specific combinations of words, are used often they can become powerful. They can also become cliché.
An interesting definition of the word cliché from Wikipedia:
“a saying, expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect rendering it a stereotype, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel. The term is frequently used in modern culture for an action or idea which is expected or predictable, based on a prior event. It is likely to be used pejoratively.”
How many of us where taught to avoid cliché in our writing at all cost? One popular creative writing professor focuses an entire week on the subject.
In print, the French derived word, cliché, came to denote a printing plate used as a cast in moveable type. Commonly used words and phrases were cast into a single mold. The idea was to take a novelty and replicate it easily and inexpensively. The overuse of such came to take on a negative connotation.
But cliché can work for the self-publishing author in marketing your book.
What do words and phrases like these bring to mind?
Change we can believe in
All for one…
Don’t leave home without it…
Even if these are terms you don’t personally buy into, or even agree with, they are indelible. Think of them as the cast plate of the new digital work that come in the form of keywords, tags, Twitter handles, and the list goes on. The can become the brand for your book. And the best part is they are free.
Whether you’re published or just finishing the 1st chapter of your book, start thinking about what makes your work unique, and how cliché may become a key component in your book marketing campaign.