Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do You Need A Sell Sheet?

Photo by Magnetbox
Its conference season! Time to get yourself organized and ready to make those one-on-one meetings with agents and acquisition editors. 

One-sheets should be high on your list of things to take with you.

I have found these extremely helpful in that I get nervous and the one sheet helps me to remember all of my talking points. Plus they are great leave behinds for your meetings. They are a snapshot of you as an author and the idea you are pitching to use as reference.

So what goes into a sell sheet?

It will have many of the same elements of a query but in a more eye catching way. Make sure to include...

  • The title of your book along with a one or two paragraph blurb. This is what you might find on the back cover of your book. Make this no more than 1/2 of the page.
  • You will need a one paragraph author bio. Again, think bottom of back cover of your book. Name, other books you've written, awards, relevant stuff - don't include your love of cats.
  • You will also need a good quality headshot. Not you cropped out of a Christmas photo, but a professional picture.
  • Your contact information - email, address, blog or website, etc.
  • Your agent's information if you have one.

It has all the essential information you want to get across and will make it easier for the agent/editor to remember you and your book after the don't forget the picture!!!

Photo by aurostar739
What you want is a convenient sheet of paper with what you pitched at the meeting, any other books you've written, and contact information.

A lot of time agents and editors do not take proposals and samples from authors at conferences, but I have almost always had them not only take, but jot notes down on the one sheet.  Its a great quick reference guide for them and a heck of a lot more noticeable than a business card for you.

If you have written multiple novels or the book you're pitching is part of a proposed series, the be sure to include that information on the sell sheet.

If you write multiple genre's then have a sell sheet geared toward that genre for each meeting. If you write paranormal romance/romantic suspense, a quick Google of the agent you are meeting with will help you tailor your pitch to them.

I have an example of the one sheet I used a couple of years ago for my Shades of Hope series during pitch sessions with acquisition editors.

The cover is of the now published book, but you get the idea. Also note...a large amount of the stuff I put in the sell sheet ended up being used by the marketing department so really get an idea of what you're pitching.

For an agent's point of view on the matter, check out Tamela Hancock Murray's blog post on One-Sheets versus Queries

I hope this helps as you prepare to hit the road and make those meetings this conference season!  I'd love to hear how it worked out.

Until next time...Go Write!


DEZMOND said...

that sounds very practical and nice, Raquel!

Donna Hole said...

A great idea. Thanks for sharing it Racquel. I put this in my favorites so I can refer to it when I can get to a conference.


Jamie Gibbs said...

Excellent advice, Raquel :) I like the idea of having a one sheet quick reference guise to your work. When a publisher says "Who's this joker?" I can whip out the one sheet and they'll go "Ahh, 'kay".

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