Friday, July 22, 2011

What In The World Is A "One-Sheet"?

The average reader has no idea what an author goes through to eventually acquire representation by an agent and get a contract from a publisher. Even fledgling authors aren't totally sure of the journey that lies ahead of them. That's why I decided to do this series

To continue the discussion about how authors connect with agents and editors at a writing conference, I thought I'd talk a bit about a "one-sheet." If you're preparing for such an appointment, this is something you'll probably need.

These appointments are short--usually ten or fifteen minutes--and a one-sheet helps you make the most of your time. It gives a little bit about your book (think back-cover copy), a little about you, has a picture of you and your contact information. Although editors and agents rarely, if ever, want a proposal to weigh down their suitcase on the way home, if they're really interested in you and your book, a one-sheet will be a nice reminder of your visit. Besides, if you reach the point of publication, it's often the basis for your "tip sheet," about which more later.

Here's the one-sheet I prepared for Abingdon Press editor Barbara Scott for my second novel, Medical Error, that was recently named a Carol Award finalist. It's not perfect, but then again, at that stage of my career I think it's pretty good. At any rate, it gives an idea of what one of these might look like. (I hope this comes out okay--it's the first time I've used this service to embed a Word document into Blogger).

Medical Error.onesheet


Loree Huebner said...

This is a great tip. I never heard of a "one sheet" before.

Thanks for this valuable information.

Nikole Hahn said...

This is a great idea. I'm going to my first Writer's Conference at Writing for the Soul in Denver,CO next year with my finished novel. I'm going to follow your advice. It will also keep me on point with talking, too, since I read most agents/editors want you to get your book down to a few sentences.

BJ said...

This is a really good series, Richard--very helpful. And that's a great one sheet!

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks, Loree and Nikole. Glad I could help. I'd never heard of a one-sheet until I went to my first American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I later found that having one made it much simpler to complete the "tip sheet" the editor wanted for the sales department.

BJ, thanks. Coming from a successful author such as you, that's high praise indeed. Appreciate it.