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Monday, August 11, 2008

Creating Sell Sheets

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

A sell sheet (or one sheet) is a one-page flyer that promotes a book or series of books and the author. It can be single or double sided. These sell sheets are used in editor appointments if an editor seems interested in your story pitch and would like to know more. Often they will ask you to send them your manuscript when you return home. They prefer not to carry manuscripts with them around the conference and on the flight, but a simple one sheet isn't too much and it gives them a point of reference to remind them of your manuscript and who you are weeks later when they receive it in the mail. 


  • Author Name - prominently at the top and in a large point size
  • Tagline - a one-line sentence that describes what genre or theme the author writes
  • Author Bio - short (200-400 words), include writing credentials such as contests finaled in or won, published works of fiction, nonfiction, short stories, articles, and writing memberships to organizations.
  • Website or blog url
  • Contact info of author (if author is agented then the name and contact info of the agent)
  • Title of manuscript or Series
  • Scripture Theme if Christian fiction or inspirational romance
  • Word Count
  • Time period if historical
  • Location if applicable
  • Description of the story (no more than 4-5 sentences)
  • Author photo (as professional as possible)
Design & Layout
Choose a design that either goes with the author's website layout and other promotional material to stay with the author's brand or a theme that compliments the story or series that is being promoted. The Sell Sheet shouldn't be over-shadowed with too many graphics that it detracts from the content. Leave a decent amount of white space or open background for proportional layout. Some authors hire an affordable graphic designer, while others do the design work themselves.

To view an example of a sell sheets:


Hi Jennifer, great post. And thank you for the mention. :-)