For those of you getting ready for a big writers conference you may have heard about the need for a One Sheet. This tool is also known as a Pitch Sheet. It’s a one page presentation of the project you’re pitching to an editor or agent. Today I’ll be explaining how to put one together.
Click here to see an example of a fiction one sheet. Click here to see an example of a nonfiction one sheet. Both of these led to multiple requests for proposal and full manuscripts. To answer your question, no, it’s not been published. I sent it out too soon and killed my chances—but that’s fodder for a future post!
There are three basic components of a one sheet—the project blurb, specifics about the project and the author’s bio—including a picture and contact info. We’ll take each component individually and explain what’s included.
The Project Blurb
For this section think back cover copy. This is NOT the place for a synopsis. You want this section to read like the blurb on the back cover of a book.
This is where you give some of the details and they’re slightly different for fiction and non-fiction.
- Genre – like Romance or Suspense.
- Manuscript Length – this doesn't have to be an exact word count, just an approximation.
- Target Audience – every book should be written with an audience in mind. I know, we all think our book will appeal to a wide range of readers—and that may be true. But this tells the potential editor or agent how to market the book. It will help sell a publishing house on your manuscript by defining the reader you’re writing for.
*there isn’t a section here for completion date because it’s understood that a manuscript must be complete before it’s submitted. It’s okay to pitch an uncompleted manuscript with a one sheet, but it’s rare for anyone to look at it as a submission until it’s complete.
- Projected Completion Date – the reason you don’t have a non-fiction manuscript completed is because publishers like to have a say in the overall concept.
- Manuscript Length – since it’s not completed, this is just an estimate.
- Target Audience – just like in fiction, you need to focus in on who specifically you’re targeting with this manuscript.
This is where you need to include a personal bio, recent picture and contact information. A lot of writers hate composing a bio so later this week I’ll be posting a short How-to on writing bios. But the basics to consider are these:
A bio must be
It must give you
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