Saturday, June 27, 2009

Quick, Pretend You're a Publicist! Yes, Like That, But Blonder.

Would you mind explaining what an agent/editor means when they say they would like a 'one sheet,' more specifically as it applies to fiction?
This is a term borrowed from the movie and music industries. It's a single page that conveys all the most important things about your book in the simplest, more straightforward style.

These things might include:
  • your name and contact info
  • your BRIEF bio, including any recognizable people you know who could blurb you, "ins" in the media, etc. Do NOT say you "think you can get the book on Oprah." For God's sake.
  • a BRIEF explanation of what the book is about
  • the value inherent in the book ("over 200 recipes!" / "reviews 50 philosophical approaches with over 300 dirty jokes!")
  • the trend the book speaks to ("1 out of 150 children is diagnosed with autism" / "with over 50 new websites and blogs and 3 new magazines launched in the last year, rogue taxidermy is the new knitting")
  • who will buy this ("proactive moms who don't know how to tell their toddlers they have to stop nursing")
  • reasons people will buy it ("perennially favorite topics dinosaurs and bedtime combined" / "an antidote to the diabetic epidemic of Fancy Nancy")
  • pretty much anything else you think will help sell the book.
I don't ask authors for this, because that's asking authors to be pros about marketing and publicity and it's pathetic what some people think is marketing and publicity. Certainly it's good for authors to think about M&P, and it's lovely when you find one who is a pro.

But don't send a one-sheet to people who don't ask for it. There are enough people in publishing to whom it's still foreign that you run the risk of the recipient thinking "WTF? What industry do you think this is?"


Jude said...

Thank you for this helpful insight.

What would this list look like for fiction?

Anonymous said...

EA: '... rogue taxidermy is the new knitting.'


Oh, and thanks for the info. I actually came across a publishing house that requests a very similar thing to this 'one page', and I couldn't understand why. Particularly, the marketing related aspects.

Chris Eldin said...

I was hoping this would be a post about hair, and highlighting roots are showing.

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