What Goes on a One Sheet?
For the next couple of weeks on Tuesday & Thursdays we’ll be focusing on conference preparation here at Writer…Interrupted.
One of the big facets of preparation for a writing conference is the One-Sheet/Pitch Sheet/Sell Sheet. This piece of paper goes by a lot of names, and it causes a lot of consternation and fear in unpublished authors, but basically it’s a sheet of paper that tells what you’ve written and why you think it is cool. It’s used during your agent or editor appointments or if you happen to have a moment with an agent, editor, mentor, or otherwise interested party to help you organize your thoughts and give you something to refer to and/or hang on to so your hands won’t shake.
- A picture that illustrates the book–theme, historical era, something that gives the flavor of the story. That’s why I chose black and white for the picture.
- Contact information (removed here for obvious reasons) for both myself and my agent.
- Story genre and word count.
- A hook line.
- The title of the work and the author’s name again.
- A brief overall summary of the story.
- Very brief character GMC’s.
- Author photo and brief bio. (I put my new photo on the sheet for the purpose of this demonstration, but used the one I had from two years ago when I actually pitched this story at the conference.)
- The title and author again.
- Setting of the story. Because this was targeted at Heartsong Presents, there were several pieces the editor was looking to see. One is the setting, in this case, Historical Minnesota. A description of an actual historical event that spawned the story, as well as the time period of the book.
- Bible verse. Heartsongs have a Bible verse or verses that the spiritual theme centers on.
- Spiritual takeaway. A brief overview of the lesson that will be learned or the change that will take place in the main characters in the story.
- Series development ideas. A brief synopsis of potential story ideas for the series along with potential titles.
- Manuscript status. Tell the editor/agent that the manuscript is available if requested or give them an accurate idea of how long it would take you to get a manuscript to them.
- Another photo, this one of the actual ship that wrecked that I got the story idea from in the first place.