ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference is in September, and I’m looking forward to going. For the next month, every Monday, I’ll post a tip to help you prepare for a writers’ conference so you can get the most out of it. This week is the One Sheet.
The one sheet, while not necessary, is a great tool to have at a writer’s conference. But many times, it makes writer’s worried that they must have the perfect one sheet to get a book deal. This is not the case. A one sheet is basically one sheet of paper that tells the agent or editor the gist of what your pitching without giving him much to carry on the plane ride home.
A one sheet is printed on white paper. It can have .5 to 1.5 inch margins. It should have font that is easy to read, but doesn’t have to stick strictly to Times New Roman guidelines. You can use sidebars, clip art, and boxes in your one sheet, and you can add a dash of color. But be careful not to overdo it. If you have MS Publisher or another desktop publishing program, it’s the perfect tool to use for your one sheet.
Elements of a One Sheet:
Title: Have the title of your novel at the top of your One Sheet in bold letters. Under the title, make sure you have the author’s name.
Tagline: After the title, have one line, twenty-five words or less, telling what the novel is about. This is your tag line.
Short Synopsis: Have a two to five paragraph synopsis. This will sort of be like what would be on the back of the book jacket. However you’ll want to include the surprise ending.
Manuscript Status: I usually have this in a sidebar. You should have if the novel is completed, word count, series or stand alone, genre, agent if any, etc.
Biography: Have a short resume with your picture and what you’ve already had published.
Contact Info: Under your biography, include name, address, phone number, email address, and blogs or websites.
Here’s an example of one of my One Sheets. I’ve deleted some information that would be a plot spoiler for my novel.