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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Author One Sheets

Over the past few years the publishing industry has been going through growing pains as it is “morphing” into a new version of itself. At the Romance Writer’s National Conference in Orlando that I attended, almost every workshop had something to do with the changing industry and the role of the internet.

More and more editors and agents want to see email queries and proposals as they do their part in going “green.” Authors are expected to have a web site and promote their books through activity on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads...and a host of other sites. And the ebook is no longer a stepchild of the industry, but a serious, viable alternative to printed books.

As I gear up to go to the ACFW Conference, along with the clothes, business cards, and laptop, one of the things I will be taking along that I have not used in the past is a One Sheet. As I speak to editors and agents, a One Sheet is something I can hand out that will jog their memories of my pitch and of me. It is also something they can jot notes on of our conversation if they choose.

So just what exactly is a One Sheet?

It’s a condensed, comprehensive sales pitch — and there are two types for authors.
Author One Sheet – promotes yourself and your services (author, speaker, teacher)
Book One Sheet – promotes your book (s)

Things to include on both are:

· Genre – is it contemporary, historical, fantasy, speculative, non-fiction?

· Word count

· Contact information – including website and blogs

· Short biography of yourself

· Photo

For the Author One Sheet, include a short synopsis of your book (25 to 30 words.) And then include other services you provide. For example: online teaching, speaking at conferences or writing workshops.

For a Book One Sheet, include the short synopsis and then also a longer version that goes into more detail. With fiction, you would want to note the important plot points. For non-fiction, you would want to point out the topics. You can also include the target audience and how you intend to market this book.

Make your One Sheet as professional looking as you can. This means white, 8 ½ x 11 inch, paper. Use different fonts minimally to attract attention to the main areas, but stick to standard Times New Roman, 12 point for the main body. Keep things clean and concise.

One Sheets can be used for other business ventures as well. A quick search of One Sheets on-line will put a plethora of examples at your fingertips.


Edie Ramer said...

Very interesting! I'll remember this the next time I go to a conference.

Have fun at the ACFW conference!

Donna Goode said...

Thank you for an interesting and helpful suggestion! Pathetically, I had never heard of this. I have now corrected the problem. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Great idea, this One Sheet. Something an editor or agent is far more likely to hang onto if he'd impressed with you, than if you gave him a publicity packet full of stuff.

Kathryn Albright said...

Thanks for commenting Edie! And congratulations again on your book release! I saw my first "One Sheet" at the WisRWA conference two years ago, but didn't realize that it was becoming a regular thing at that time. Now it seems to be everywhere.

Kathryn Albright said...

Hi Donna! I hesitated to put examples of my one sheet with this blog--I'm still tweaking mine quite a bit. Wish I had Microsoft Publisher--I think it would have made it look a bit more professional. I did mine in Microsoft Word. However--taking the thumb drive to Staples and letting them print them on a higher grade paper really helped make it more professional.

Kathryn Albright said...

Thanks for commenting Charlene. As everyone is preparing for this next conference, it does seem to be the way pitch sessions are handled now. I like the idea of having something to look at, something in my hand to give to the editor/agent at the outset so that his/her eyes can focus somewhere other than me. I'm very uncomfortable with stare-down type interviews and interrogations as I'm quite the introvert.

Clarissa Southwick said...

This is my first time visiting your blog and I found it very interesting. Thanks for the helpful information on one note.

Mary Jo said...


Great blog. I've learned something. Thank you. I'll be working on my own one sheet. One more task to do...