The Sales Flyer: A Checklist
by Betsy Lampe
A sales flyer must speak for your book, especially when the person reading the flyer does not have the book in hand, which is the case when a book is displayed at a trade show. Look into using a good graphic design company to put your flyer together. And ask yourself the questions that follow to make sure you have included all necessary information.
Does the flyer provide a clear graphic of the book’s cover? Please, no poorly done scans. If the interior of the book features something more than straight text, a sample page might be helpful, especially for kids’ books. A boring sales flyer is like a book with a boring cover—it rarely gets read.
Is there a comprehensive book description that is professionally written and includes features and benefits? Does it point out how the book differs from its competition? For fiction, is a healthy synopsis included?
Do you list book/author awards and nominations?
Is the target audience described? Never say that a book is for “everyone.” Be very specific. Don’t make the prospective buyer guess. Use the BISAC Subject Headings (bisg.org/standards/bisac_subject/index.html) to help you classify your book. An example for a book on healthy food for kids would be:
JNF024010—JUVENILE NONFICTION/Health/Diet & Nutrition
Is the standard book information listed? This includes:
—binding (perfect, sewn, wire-o, comb, etc.)
—cover (paperback? hardcover? And, for hardcovers, is there a jacket?)
—dimensions (across the top in inches × height in inches)
—photos/illustrations (color or B&W?)
—retail price (Canadian too, if applicable)
—back matter (appendixes, glossary, references, suggested reading, index, etc.)
—special features (CD-ROM sleeve, etc.)
—grade reading level intended, if applicable
Are reviews and/or endorsements included? Do not list anonymous reviews or reviews from one-named readers at Amazon.com or from friends or relations. Listing these make you look unprofessional.
Is a short author bio included? Does it position the author as an expert, or does it focus on hobbies and children? Don’t hide expertise under a bushel basket!
If the book is illustrated, is information about the artist included? Don’t forget that an artist can be a powerful marketing tool. Is the artist an award winner (even if not for your book)? Graduate of a special art school? Brag!
Does your flyer include complete distribution information? (Please note that the standard press release for XLibris or iUniverse is not the same as a sales flyer.)
Does the flyer include complete publisher information? Author contact information?
Did you provide detailed information about programs the author presents?
Did you use both sides of the paper? Do!
Betsy Lampe is association executive, Florida Publishers Association, Inc., an IBPA affiliate.