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Anatomy of a Book Sales Sheet (…Tip Sheet, One Sheet, Sales Flyer, What-Have-You!)

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answers by Karen Pavlicin, Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing

Karen Pavlicin

Need help creating a sales sheet for your forthcoming titles? Read below for some helpful tips.

A sales sheet—also called tip sheet, one sheet, or sales flyer—is a summary sheet that gives at a glance all the relevant information about a forthcoming title.

A trade version of the sales sheet helps the sales reps, distribution team, reviewers, and buyers understand what sets this title apart, its key features, intended reader, and what will help the book succeed. A consumer or direct sales version of the sales sheet helps the reader connect with the book’s content, preorder the title, and learn about upcoming author events.

A sales sheet should include:

  • Book overview (book title, subtitle, author/illustrator, logline, brief description)
  • Book cover
  • Book ID block (Publication date, ISBN, category, format, trim size, page count, rights available, distribution, direct sales info)
  • One or two exceptional quotes or review excerpts
  • Unique or special features (themes, illustrative elements, unique format, special uses or applications, other distinguishing features)
  • Relevant comparative or competitive information to show how this book fits in the market
  • Author information (photo, bio, credentials, awards, other publications, events, social media)
  • Marketing and publicity plans (campaign info, author tour, marketing/advertising budget, initial print run, relevant promotional overview)
  • Publisher information (logo, contact, phone, email, social media)
  • Media, reviewer, or customer relations contact information

Additional information sheets beyond the overview can enhance and expand the sales sheet information, provide more details for the sales team or reviewers, and form the foundation of a media kit.

Examples of helpful additional sheets include:

  • Reviews sheet (what early reviewers are saying about the book)
  • Book details or sales sheet details (more specifics about the primary reader profile, themes/topics, campaign details, comparable and competitive title descriptions, sales of previous books by the author)
  • Author details sheet (expanded bio, FAQs, author social media, past awards, other books)
  • Excerpts (sample chapters or paragraph excerpts that represent the content or style of the book, key features, illustration style)
  • Fact sheet (facts related to the book topics or content, tips that could be used in an article sidebar, or current event facts that illustrate the timeliness, importance, and relevancy of the book or author’s credentials)
  • Book announcement/press release
  • Media clips of author interviews or articles
  • Upcoming events (if booked/confirmed, major tour events, national media airings, blog tours)

The sample basic template below can be used to create both the trade and consumer versions. The wording of the trade version will focus on features that help with placement of the book, how it compares with other recent titles, and ways the author or publisher intend to position the book to sell well. The goal of the trade version is to facilitate reviews, bookstore placement, trade orders, and key partnerships. The consumer version is similar to consumer catalog copy or online store descriptions, focusing on what the book means to the reader. The goal is to attract end readers to the book and facilitate preorders and engagement with the author.

Most distributors, major book review publications, and influential buyers and media require the basic overview information of the sales sheet in order to consider selling, reviewing, or preordering forthcoming titles. Creating a sales sheet for each book should be an automatic part of the prepublication process for all publishers. Once created, the sales sheet can easily be adapted for other marketing and business development materials, including catalogs, trade shows, subsidiary rights, and direct mailings.

Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito is the publisher of Elva Resa Publishing, a traditional publisher specializing in resources for and about military families.

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