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How to Make a Sell Sheet

A sell sheet is a concise, one-page document that is really more like a flier or brochure than a press release. It provides all the details about your book on one piece of paper.

Use it to sell or promote your book to retailers, wholesalers and even consumers. You also can include your sell sheet in a media kit so that the editor can have specific details about your book and your marketing plans. Remember, a press release should focus on the news your book is making. Conversely, a sell sheet is more of an announcement and tells about the sales and marketing aspects of your publishing program.

Put the Title of Your Book at the Top of the Page.

Make it bold and include the subtitle or tag line you've created. See the example.

A Good Sell Sheet Should Always Have a Small Thumbnail of Your Book Jacket:

The jacket is the packaging of your book and, contrary to the old adage, "You can't judge a book …," it is the first thing a bookseller or consumer sees.

The thumbnail should be small and placed in the upper left-hand corner of your sell sheet. Most word-processing software allows you to paste or insert an image or picture into a document. Go to the iUniverse Web site, right click on the image of your book jacket and "Save image as" a .gif or .bmp file. Follow your software's instructions for inserting images into a document. If you can't save the image, print out the picture and glue it on the sell sheet after you have printed out the final version. It's really quite easy however you do it. Keep in mind that your goal is to give a visual reference to your book's jacket.

Include the Following Publishing Details about Your Book:

  • Title: List it again, just for emphasis
  • Author: Your name here
  • Category: List the category or subject of your book (e.g., science fiction)
  • ISBN: The standard book number assigned to your book
  • Format: Trade paperback (all iUniverse books are high quality trade paperbacks)
  • Publication Date: The date your book is available from iUniverse
  • Pages: The number of pages of your book
  • Price: How much the book costs
  • Trim: The dimensions of your book (list the width and the height)
  • Available from: Initially, list iUniverse here; as the book becomes available from wholesalers, you can list these too
  • First Print Run: On demand (with iUniverse on-demand capabilities, there is never an out-of-stock situation) 

Sell Sheet - Love What You Do

View Sample Sell Sheet

Synopsis of Your Book:

This is easy: just use the keynote and synopsis you provided when you submitted your manuscript. You can also cut and paste copy from the iUniverse Web site listing of your book.

Reviews:

Put a few of your readers' best quotes on your sell sheet. Remember, quotes and reviews from others validate your book in the eyes of the consumer.

If the Sell Sheet Is for Buyers:

Mention pertinent parts of your marketing campaign, such as your promotional budget, any author events you have planned, any publicity you have and any advertising you will do.

Author Biography:

Put a bit about yourself here. Again, use the author biography information you provided with your manuscript submission or cut and paste copy from the iUniverse listing of your book.

That's it! Print these out and use them freely. Leave them at bookstores, give them to book buyers and send them in your media kits along with your press release. Good luck!

Sample of Sell Sheet:

1001 Carrot Recipes is the most useful of all vegetable cookbooks. This book has a chapter for each kind of carrot recipe, from soup to salads to cakes. It also features general facts; growing requirements; calorie, carbohydrate, and food value information; and detailed instructions for handling, storage, and cooking your carrots.

Well researched with over 100 drawings, this book is a must-have for the carrot lover in your family. You'll love the savory and delectable recipes developed by the author after years of selecting and testing. Making the everyday carrot a welcome dish from springtime carrot mint soup to warm winter carrot nut bread, these recipes span the entire growing season and earn a "More, please!" from even the pickiest eater in your family.

"The best cookbook I've ever used. I can't wait to try the recipes on my family …" Beatrix P. The Rabbit World News

"Well researched and meticulously tested. I loved the calorie and nutritional values section." P. Rabbit New York Times

Marketing: $40,000 marketing budget. Five-state author tour: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, Arkansas. National radio tour and national and regional print publicity. Consumer and trade Advertising.

I. M. Rabbit is a nationally recognized cook, carrot expert, and author. Her other titles include The Joy of Cabbage and Decorating Your Hutch on a Shoestring. She is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and has cooked in several world-renowned restaurants both domestically and abroad. She currently lives in the hill country of Texas with her 26 children.

Promotional Materials:


Most of the information on your sell sheet can also be used as a "point-of-sale" or promotional piece. Modify your sell sheet a bit, blow it up, mount it on poster board, attach a paper easel to the back and you have an easel-back for bookstores to use. Put your picture on the easel-back, modify it again just slightly, and you can have a window display announcing your book signing. These are both easy to complete, and you've already done most of the work.

Look at the examples below to see what information is appropriate for promotional pieces. A lot of the information that you provide a bookseller isn't necessary for a promotional piece aimed at consumers. Just include the basics: title, price, a short description, some quotes and a shorter author bio. It's simple. Think how this will look on a table in a bookstore with a stack of your books.

For an author appearance, just post the date of the appearance and your picture. Have this one blown up (11" x 17" or bigger). Work with the bookstore to meet their needs—they may even help you or do it themselves—but you'll make their job easier if you have a lot of this information at your fingertips.

Example of Promotional Materials:

1001 Carrot Recipes
1001 Carrot Recipes by I. M. Rabbit

1001 Carrot Recipes is the most useful of all vegetable cookbooks. This book has a chapter for each kind of carrot recipe, from soup to salads to cakes. It also features general facts; growing requirements; calorie, carbohydrate, and food value information; and detailed instructions for handling, storage, and cooking your carrots.

Well researched with over 100 drawings, this book is a must-have for the carrot lover in your family. You'll love the savory and delectable recipes developed by the author after years of selecting and testing. Making the everyday carrot a welcome dish from springtime carrot mint soup to warm winter carrot nut bread, these recipes span the entire growing season and earn a "More, please!" from even the pickiest eater in your family.

"The best cookbook I've ever used. I can't wait to try the recipes on my family …" Beatrix P. The Rabbit World News

"Well researched and meticulously tested. I loved the calorie and nutritional values section." P. Rabbit New York Times

I. M. Rabbit is a nationally recognized cook, carrot expert, and author. Her other titles include The Joy of Cabbage and Decorating Your Hutch on a Shoestring.

Author appearance promotional sign:

I. M. Rabbit, nationally recognized cook, carrot expert, and author of The Joy of Cabbage and Decorating Your Hutch on a Shoestring will sign her latest book on:

Saturday, April 15 from
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

1001 Carrot Recipes

"The best cookbook I've ever used. I can't wait to try the recipes on my family …" Beatrix P. The Rabbit World News

"Well researched and meticulously tested. I loved the calorie and nutritional values section." P. Rabbit New York Times

I. M. Rabbit is a nationally recognized cook, carrot expert, and author. Her other titles include The Joy of Cabbage and Decorating Your Hutch on a Shoestring.