You have knowledge, experience, skills. You are ready to communicate your know-how to others through a book.
Having a professional sell sheet can help distinguish your book from thousands of others and really help it get noticed. Although you can do one book sell sheet for whole series, typically a sell sheet exists for each book you release. Professional book publicist Adonna Pruette explains: You want to be able to hand the manager, owner, or book buyer an attractive sheet that will act as an actual sales piece after you leave.
Use color, lists, and boxes where possible and effective to make it a quick read with all of the info that the store needs. The person that you hand this sheet too will read it just as you would — they are going to quickly scan it from top to bottom with their eye stopping briefly on focal points on the way down.
This is the sell sheet for my novel The Worker Prince. I have marked them on the sheet for visual reference. The title of your book is the most important thing on the page. Try the squint test. Look at your sell sheet and squint. Can you see the title really well?
Make sure the font is very readable. If not, try adding spacing between the letters o u t just a bit. Sub-title if you have one.
Not as large as the title though. Next, a brief book teaser description.
Keep it open ended so they want to find out what happens. Leave them with questions they just have to get answered! Get a friend or fiction loving neighbor to read over your description and see if they want to know more about your book after reading it.
Do they start to ask you questions about it? Stores will use this to look it up right away. Use the more well known reviewers or larger book blog review snippets toward the top of your reviews section. This practice will make your sell sheet a much more scannable read.
Adonna says that the store will want to know if your book can be ordered along with the normal book order that they place to their suppliers.
If not, make sure that complete ordering info is on your sell sheet: In cases of nonfiction, you may wish to bullet point your platform and what you offer as a speaker and expert here. Why should you be chosen?
What do you offer which no one else can? Ask them to order copies and give them the info to do it NOW! Sell yourself, not just the book, with a brief bio and contact info, including 1 or 2 max social media accounts.
Make it easy to go directly to you. Not just an order desk. This also gives them a good reason to hold on to the sell sheet.
If your book is traditionally published, even by a small press, this helps it to stand out as gatekeepers have approved it. Here are links to sample sell sheets. One covers a series, the others individual books. In my case, publicist Adonna Pruette looked mine over for tweaks after the fact.
She also suggested this alternate layout as yet another option: Adonna has some final thoughts:Synopsis Sell sheets have a simple mission. To Sell More Books. They’re really just a way to showcase the benefits of your book in a concise and impelling way.
A sell sheet is a powerful sales aid that you can distribute by hand, mail or email, or give to representatives to present a product.
To create a sell sheet, write copy that covers important customer benefits in an easy-to-read format, add product photographs and develop a layout that presents the product on a single or double-sided page. Here are 7 tips to remember when using book flyers and sell sheets to market your work.
Keep your Flyer Design Simple Many times, you’ll see marketers crowding every piece of information they can think of on one ” x 11” or “4 x 6” flyer. 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. Although you can do one book sell sheet for whole series, typically a sell sheet exists for each book you release. Professional book publicist Adonna Pruette explains: “When you are making efforts to promote your new novel, you want to walk into the bookstore with at least two things in hand – your books (buy some to take with you!) and your sell sheet.
A sell sheet is basically a cover letter for your book. It’s sometimes called an info sheet, fact sheet, dealer sheet, or pub sheet—you know, just to make things more confusing for you.