Writerly Wednesday--Creating An Eye Grabbing One Sheet
Happy Wednesday, friends!
Sorry this is posting a bit later in the day. We had an interesting evening that including my husband falling off a truck, then having a 400 pound motorcycle fall on top of him, which he lifted off himself (my hero). Of course, at my insistence a trip to the E.R. Why my insistence? Because like all men, he was 'fine.' He is, thankfully, minus some abrasions and a concussion. Needless to say, my day got shifted from the planned to the unplanned, but it's a perfect segue into our topic today....Editor and Agent appointments at conferences, in which anything can happen.
You've made it. You're at your editor/agent appointment and you have fifteen minutes tops to impress them. Often, in addition to the pitch, which we covered last week, editors and agents will often ask for a One Sheet. If you aren't familiar with this term, a One Sheet is simply your pitch and a mini-bio on a printed out sheet of paper. Why do editors and agents often ask for these? Because they see tons of writers at these conferences and it's an easy way for them to remember each author and story idea. So, it's really important that your One Sheet is filled with great content that is concise, and, of course, visually pleasing.
To give you an example, I'm going to share my selling One Sheet for my debut novel, Submerged. Keep in mind this is six years old. Today I'd make it more visually pleasing, but the content wouldn't change. I hope you find it helpful.
What to Include in Your One Sheet
A Photo -
As you can see it has my picture (yes I was younger, but moving on...:) It's important for the editors and agents to be able to put a face with your story. Always include a picture.
Contact Information -
You also need to include a way for an editor or agent to contact you. I included my email and my phone number (which has been marked out for privacy reasons), along with my website. Yes, I had a website before I was published. It's not necessary, but if you have a quality website, then share it. It's yet another way for an editor or agent to learn more about you and to see you are serious about pursuing a career in writing.
Next, I included an image of divers because it was very relevant to my story, and then on to my short summary.
A Short Summary of Your Book and a Brief Biography
You don't want to overload your editor, just give them enough information to get them asking questions and here's where the 'anything goes' part comes in. Be prepared to answer questions. You should be ready to answer any question posed about your story, your writing history (how long you've been writing, if you have a mentor or work with a critique partner, how you learned and studied the craft), and you (some editors like to get to know a bit about the person they are chatting with).
It's a lot to be prepared for, but it's MUCH better to be prepared than to try and wing it.
I pray you have a wonderful conference. If you'll be at ACFW and have a One Sheet you'd like me to look over and practice your pitch, I'm going to make myself available for a short time period on Friday morning from 8-9. If you're interested email me at email@example.com and let me know. Once I have five people, for time sake, I'll have it cut it off so I can give you a decent amount of feedback. I'll also let you know where we'll be meeting. Look forward to hearing from a few of you.