Saturday, June 21, 2014

ACFW Conference One Sheet Info

Maybe you're new to the game and you haven't thought about this, or maybe you've been to several conferences but haven't thought much about your one sheet before. Well, with the ACFW Conference dates announced (and many other conferences coming up) it's time to decide if you need a One Sheet.

What Is A One Sheet?

First, we have to answer the question of what a One Sheet is in a nutshell:
One Sheet: A quick, graphically enhanced look at your novel. Includes a blurb, sell-information, and short bio.
Simply put, it's an overview of your novel that is intended to help you "sell" your novel to an editor or agent. They are typically enhanced by graphics that help the reader gain a feeling for the novel itself. It's secondary to your pitch, but can be very effective.

Do I need a One Sheet?

The real question here is what do you plan on doing at the conference you're attending? Are you just attending to glean information and learn anything you can? Are you intending to meet with agents and editors to try and sell your book or book idea? Are you 100% new to writing and don't have a clue?

A One Sheet is a great thing to have if you're planning on trying to sell or pitch an idea to an agent or editor. They aren't required but highly recommended when it comes to conferences. Having something to show/give whomever you're talking too is a big step up from a simple face-to-face meeting. However, a One Sheet is not required. You may be at a place where you don't have a book or idea to pitch. Or, maybe you're not sure you're ready for the next step of publishing. If so, a One Sheet isn't necessary though you should consider compiling the information (below) for when you are ready.

What's on a One Sheet? 

One sheets typically contain these things:
  • Novel Title (really a working title)
  • Completed Word Count (this may not always apply)
  • Can include a short tag line
  • Graphics or an image that helps to visualize your book
  • A back cover copy/synopsis blurb 
  • Contact information (email, phone, website, address)
  • A short bio with your accomplishments/publications etc.
  • Your headshot 


So now what? 

 If you have design savvy or a good working knowledge of word/pages and feel confident in creating your own One Sheet - go for it! This is a chance for you to pull from other creative ares to design your own one sheet.

If you're not confident in your own design abilities, you can also hire out your One Sheet to a graphic designer. Make sure you compile all of the information listed above and have an idea of an image/theme that would work for your book* before contacting your designer. Also, find out if you'll have the ability to ask for revisions** to ensure the designer truly captures your story through visualization.

Brilliant Cut Editing and Writer Coaching has a great list going and I also offer a One Sheet design special that you can find details about here.***

No matter what you choose to do - make sure your one sheet is professional and eye catching!  

Check out these great posts for additional help and ideas: Rachelle Gardner, Rebecca DeMarino, ACFW Arkansas, The Writer's Alley

*Don't expect unlimited revisions because this costs you and the designer time.
** Make sure you aren't too set in your ideas. Your designer will (hopefully) have a good eye and can go off of what you describe to them, but they also need a bit of creative license.
***I created all one sheets shown on this posts.

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