There's not much I dislike about writing or even the business of writing, but I do hate pitch sheets. Mostly because I never feel like I know what I'm doing, and they suck up a tremendous amount of time. Um, that being said ... I've had a lot of success with mine. So while I'm no expert on pitch sheets, I can at least share what they are and what's worked for me.
A pitch sheet is basically a flier for your project. They also get called "one sheets" but I prefer pitch sheet. You should have a one-line for your project, a paragraph description, your genre, word count, bio, and contact information.
But, like a flier, it's also supposed to be pretty. A nice layout, lots of white space (meaning not too many words), an image of some sort, and then a picture of you, the writer. It should be colorful and eye-catching. Some writers have theirs professionally designed and printed.
The first time I heard all that - about 4 years ago when I was getting set to waddle off to my first ACFW conference (I was quite pregnant) - my brain refused to process it. I mean, for years I'd been studying how to get published, and I'd never even heard of a one sheet! And everything I knew about querying was that you let the words do the work for you. No colored paper, no funky fonts, no pictures.
"This can't be right," I kept thinking to myself as I set about making my very first pitch sheet. I thought that the whole time I designed and redesigned and redesigned my one sheets. "I just know I'm doing this all wrong."
I was so stressed. I think I was more stressed about showing agents my one sheets than I was about pitching to them.
But apparently I did okay, because a month after the conference I received an email from one of the agents I ate lunch with saying, "I'm just now going through all the one sheets I collected, and I'd love to see more on this project of yours."
I'm too embarrassed to upload my actual pitch sheet, but this is a picture of what it looked like.
It was originally printed in color, and a picture of me is supposed to be in the bottom right, but I hated that picture so it's been removed. (I was pregnant and had just woken up from a nap ... and in the picture, I look like I'm pregnant and have just woken up from a nap. Go figure.) I would advise more white space then I have on mine, but otherwise it's an okay example. It worked, anyway.
If you guys have questions about pitch sheets, I'm happy to answer them, I just hated to spend a bunch of time talking about something that doesn't help where you are now in your writing journey. (Although I used 500 words to "not talk" about it, so ... that kind of backfired.)
Congratulations to those who made the top 20 in last round's writing prompt contest. The next writing prompt will go live Monday, October 17th.
In no particular order:
Melanie G. Schroeder