Your one-sheet—a single page intended to pique an agent or editor’s interest so they want to see your full proposal—serves as a marketing tool that provides a concise overview of your book.
Typical information in a one-sheet includes:
Title and Subtitle
Although these will likely change before publication, they are significant elements that should immediately engage the agent or editor.
● grab the reader’s attention
● tell what the book is about
● identify the reader benefit
Give the agent or editor the best ways to reach you for.
Consider this advertising copy or a condensed version of what will appear on the back cover. Describe your book and tell why people read it.
As specifically as you can, describe you primary and secondary readerships.
Features or Benefits
Describe what is unique about your book. What does it offer that is not found in others on this topic.
Provide your credentials, especially those that provide legitimacy for you as an author for this book.
This section addresses:
● why you have people’s attention on this topic
● what means you have to make your voice heard
To establish your legitimacy, list some or all of what you’ve had published in books, magazines, journals, or other periodicals.
That’s a lot to fit in one single-spaced page. Resist the urge to reduce the font size or margins. If agents or editors have to strain to read it, they will quickly lose interest. Each section can be no longer than one paragraph or a few bullet points.
Whittling to one page everything you could say about your book will help you communicate clearly why an agent or editor should be interested in reading your full proposal.
Kevin Scott serves as acquisitions editor at Wesleyan Publishing House, where he coaches first-time and experienced authors through the acquisitions and editorial process. Kevin also writes essays about sustainable Christianity at www.kevinscottwrites.com.