Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marketing Sell Sheets

This post is a rerun, but it is also the subject of my Master's teaching demonstration so I thought it would be good to revisit.
Sell sheets are a single page device that every company's marketing department creates to focus their marketing plan. It occurred to me a few years ago that sell sheets are a great tool for writers.

For writers, sell sheets are single page flyers/brochures that sell the audience on their book. I learned that sell sheets are my friend. I use them to focus my writing and my marketing efforts.

A sell sheet is helpful whether you are published or unpublished. It can be used to focus your plot and help with a sagging middle. It can be used to frame your synopsis and query letter. It can also be used to sell a published work-to readers and book buyers. Blogging? Use the material off your sell sheet. Chats? A sell sheet keeps your message focused. Announcing a new sale or a book release or contest? Use the information off your sell sheet to provide a uniform message.

Even better, a sell sheet can be helpful when making an editor/agent pitch. A proper has all the elements you need to give your sales pitch in any situation.

What do I put on my sell sheet?

To begin with I include the following four written elements:
1) A single sentence describing the story using 15 words or less. (Think NY Times blurb.)
2) A five sentence paragraph where the first sentence gives the background. The next three sentences give worsening conflict and the last sentence asks the story question. (Think back cover blurb.)
3) A Goal, Motivation and Conflict sentence for each of the main characters.
4) A short-less than 250 word- excerpt from the book.

Then I arrange them on the single sheet using eye catching graphics-book cover if you have it and fonts. Be sure to include: your title, subtitle if you have one, ISBN, retail price, number of pages, and availability. Finally-have them professionally printed on high-quality paper.

Taking the time to create a professional sell sheet can help to focus your work, your editorial pitch and your marketing plan into a cohesive message that helps the readers/editors/agents understand your unique story point of view.


Linda Kage said...

I just received my first sell sheet from an editor last month. Wow. It had a picture of me on and made me blush.

Nancy J. Parra said...