Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What is a One Sheet and How Do You Make One?

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

A one sheet is a one-page advertisement for you and your book. Authors take them to writers conferences to give to editors and agents. While most editors and agents won't take a full manuscript or even sanple chapters these days, they might take a one-sheet that intrigues them. Think of it as a business card for your novel. If an agent or editor keeps yours, that's pretty cool.

What goes on a one sheet? They're simple. You need the book title, your name, a one-sentence hook, your back cover blurb, a short bio, and, if you'd like, an image.

Easy peasy.

Some people are more creative than others. But it's the information on the one-sheet that interests editors and agents, not your Photoshopping or drawing ability. So, if you're aren't super creative in that department, don't worry.

Since I'm a vistual learner, I figured examples are better than any instuctions I could type. So check these out. These are all one sheets for books that sold. You should be able to click on them to see a bigger image. If not, I put the image URL underneath each one sheet.



My original title for Replication was Jason Farms. I intended for it to be a trilogy. I got an offer for just the first book, and as far as I know, the publisher has no plans to continue the series. For more information on Replication, click here: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/replication/.




This trilogy was written by my friend Nicole O'Dell. It's a fabulous group of books. I've read them all. Each follows the story of a different girl who gets into trouble and moves to Diamond Estates for help. And doesn't Nicole design amazing one sheets? For more information on this series, click here: http://nicoleodell.com/home-2/teen-site/diamond-estates-series/.




Ah, The New Recruit. My first book. See that funny little cover in the bottom left-hand corner? I made that in case I needed to self publish the book. [Rolls eyes] Thankfully, I waited. I like my final cover so much better. And the story ended up being much better too. For more information, click here: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/books/the-new-recruit/.



(One sheet url: http://www.jillwilliamson.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/running-lean-one-sheet.psd_.jpg)

Running Lean was written by my friend Diana Sharples. It's one of the best stories I've ever read. I encourage you all to go pre-order it on Amazon.com or B&N.com right now! Blink YA Books is publishing it in August. It's an AMAZING book! For more information, click here: http://dianasharples.com/2012/11/05/running-lean/.

Have you made a one sheet? Feel free to ask questions about them or post a link to your own in the comments.

19 comments:

  1. Looks all pretty good! But I can't be that trilled about the Diamond Estates right now :). Those three gems, pearl, ruby and onyx, are exactly(!) the three I'm using in my current manuscript. Hope my idea is rather different from hers...;-)
    I haven't made a one sheet yet, but the idea is nice and maybe, when I've written a little bit more than the almost-20,000-words I have now, I can give it a try :)

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    1. Oh no! If you are writing contemporary YA, you might investigate those books a little to make sure that they're different. They probably are. Yeah, you don't really need a one sheet until you've completing the book.

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    2. Phew, the idea seems to be really different. But I wasn't the only one (see comment of Prasant Saxena somewhere below). Can anybody tell what it is with that three gems? Looks like those three gems are...well, just fine for stories, I suppose ;-)

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    3. And as far as I know, those books aren't translated in Dutch yet. I think very few people in the Netherlands heard about the Diamond Estates. Hope so... *fingers crossed* :)

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  2. I didn't even know that One Sheets existed until just now. I guess that you learn something new every day!
    I have a question. If I ever go to a writing conference, should I make one of these for my WIP? Is it required, or is it just something that you can do if you want to?

    -Abby


    https://abbyslifeinafrica.blogspot.com/

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    1. It's not required, but it's good to have them. Agents/Editors won't usually take your book proposal at a conference, but they will take a one sheet. ;) Hope that helps.

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    2. That does help! Thanks, Leah!

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    3. Thanks for answering that, Leah! :-)

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  3. I didn't know one-sheets existed either . . . maybe I should think about making one for Danger in the Tower.

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  4. I noticed that most of these had summaries of the enter trilogy. Should every one sheet include the other books in the series? DO I need to know how the enter series will play out before a publisher will take it?

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    1. Only if you're trying to sell a series. Most times it's best to start with a one sheet for the first book, then tell them that you have plans for a series. But if you're hoping to sell a series at once, you need to be able to write blurbs for each, and sometimes a synopsis for each. But for first-time authors, most publishers will take book one and see how it sells before buying more books in the series.

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  5. Also had never heard of one-sheets before, but I think they're a really cool idea! Photoshop hates me, so good to know they care more about the content than the pretty pictures. I think I'll try making one of these for the project I'm editing :)

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  6. I don't have my one sheets up anywhere linkable, but here's a link to the post I learned about them from.

    http://www.rachellegardner.com/2011/08/what-should-i-bring-to-a-conference/

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    1. Thanks for posting that, Leah! Rachelle is super smart.

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  7. I guess I can see why Replication works as a standalone, but if the chance to finish the trilogy ever comes up, I really want to read it!

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    1. Ditto that! As soon as I saw that you intended for it to be a series I was like.... O.O I want more!!! (The OYAN forum has been full of praises for Replication, by the way. Everyone loves it.)

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  8. I can't be that trilled about the prized gem Estates right now. Those three gems, pearl, ruby and onyx, are exactly the three I'm utilizing in my imagination manuscript. Yearn my notion is rather distinct from hers.

    Regards,
    Content Writing Services

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  9. The examples will certainly be beneficial when I get to that stage in my life :)

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