The Tricky One Sheet
As I prepare to go to conference in May and present my newest series, The Singlehearted, I have been researching and working on my One Sheet.
Some of you may not know what a one sheet is, so let me start by explaining its contents and purpose.
In my own words, the One Sheet is you and your book’s resume. Almost all agents and editors will request you have a One sheet when you meet with them at conference. They may glance over it, or as with most job interviews, it is for them to look at later. They’ll want to hear you tell them about you and your book, but the One Sheet can be referenced later when they are looking over all their meeting notes.
That being said, you want your One Sheet to stand out above others, not just with a striking image, but also with unique and well-written content. I always have my critique partners and other writing friends look over my One Sheet to see if it catches their attention and make them want to know more.
Now, I am not a One Sheet genius or wizard, but my research and reading other professional writer’s One Sheets has helped me untangle some of the mystery behind them.
For me, I first want a striking image that will set the tone of my book. For my Singlehearted Book 1: Hunted, I wanted something dark and suspenseful because it is a Romantic Suspense novel.
A few months back, I went and purchased the publishing rights to a bunch of photos from 123RF.com. I had been writing on my Romantic Suspense series at the time and bought a few photos I believed resembled the characters and tone of my books. For my One Sheet, I chose a dark photo of a faceless man in a hoodie. (By the way, I created my One Sheet using Microsoft Word). Using Word’s tools, I added my title to the picture and used the highlighting tool to bring a little light to the words so they stuck out.
Since I used the Snowflake Method to write this novel, I already had a built in one sentence synopsis and one paragraph synopsis…at least in rough draft form.
Using a friend’s One Sheet template that she said helped her at conference, I created my one sentence pitch and off set it in italics under the picture. I then added my one paragraph synopsis under that. To me this paragraph form is a mix between a book blurb and a full tell all synopsis. You want to give all the pertinent details, but you still want to leave them with the question at the end.
After this, I just added my headshot, bio, and contact information. The same as it would be with a business card.
You can see the photo I used as well as the content on My Stories tab under Hunted.
My suggestion to anyone struggling with the One Sheet is to ask a few seasoned authors to look at theirs. There really isn’t an exact formula. Some authors add word count, audience type, and genre to their One Sheet. It all depends on you and your story.