Let’s talk today about author tip sheets and sell sheets. Why do you need one? What should it include? Even before your book heads to market, you’ll find this one page tool critical in your arsenal!
Why Do You Need a Tip Sheet?
Selling your book, and, in many cases, yourself as an author, is a lot like looking for a job. You need to sell the idea of carrying your book to retailers, convince event promoters to talk about your book at a conference or festival, or convince an organization director that your book would be beneficial to all its members.
Like having a resume for that job application, an author tip sheet, often called a sell sheet, is a critical tool. You may not have the opportunity to meet your prospective retailer or event producer; your tip sheet needs to convey all the necessary information.
This is especially useful when visiting book stores. Sure, you can leave a book behind, but that one page of pertinent data is what will be most useful to the book store in determining whether your book needs to be on their shelves!
It can also be provided to prospective reviewers, and media, in your kit or accompanying your latest press release.
What Your Tip Sheet Should Include
While ingredients can vary somewhat depending on your strengths (i.e. more blurbs, previous titles, etc.) the primary elements of a sell sheet should include:
- The publisher’s imprint and logo (your own if self-published).
- An image of the book’s cover
- Title of the book
- A concise description of the book
- Your book’s metadata (ISBN, price, category, page count)
- A concise description/synopsis of the book (back cover description is often used here)
- A concise description of the book’s marketing plan (i.e. an author’s book tour or events)
- What audience your book will appeal to and why it will interest readers
- Comparable titles in your category
- Strong reviews by major media or blurbs by other known authors
- Your contact information (and/or your publisher and distributor’s info)
- How buyers can order your book
- A brief bio of you, the author, and any previous books published under your name
Keep in mind that the local book store likely receives hundreds of sell sheets each year. Make yours professional, interesting, and exciting so it can stand out against the competition.
HINT: Your sell sheet should also be posted on your author website and available as a downloadable pdf to online readers and prospective buyers.