Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The One Sheet

While finishing editing my manuscript, I also started drafting some promotional material--a query letter, synopsis, and most recently, a one sheet.

Now, the specifications for a "one sheet" (a one-page document used to pitch to agents and editors personally) don't seem to be as rigid as those for preparing a manuscript. But most one sheets I've seen contain the following elements.

A tag line. One brief sentence attempting to get the agent's attention.

A brief synopsis or "hook." A few sentences introducing the plot of the book, much like one would include in a good, concise query letter.

A brief bio of the author and his or her writing history. This was hard for me. I'm not used to writing about myself.

A photograph. Even harder. I hate having pictures taken. I might need to get a professional portrait done.

Contact information. Double checking for typos.

Unlike manuscript preparation, some creativity is allowed--the use of a frame, layout, even a tiny splash of color.

Bad ideas? Colored paper, glitter, unusual fonts, too much clip art. In short, anything that says 'tacky' or 'unprofessional.'


  1. Saw your post on Twitter and had to hop over to say hi! You have a very lovely blog and I'm glad to read about one-sheets! I've yet to write mine for ACFW, so I appreciate the advice!

  2. Barb: Creating my one sheets was the funnest part of pitching my books. Is funnest a word?
    I'm having a book drawing on my blog through Thursday; the post on interview with Patti Lacy. Would love you to pop over and enter!