For once, I'm blogging on Tuesday night according to schedule—will wonders never cease?
Maybe it's just because I actually know what I want to write about this week. It's how to create a press sheet for your book. A press sheet is a one page "everything you need to know" bulletin that you can use when promoting your book. You can use it when you talk to booksellers and librarians, and more importantly, when you give information to the press. It is a critical component of your media or press kit and may be the only thing a lot of people read.
For librarians and booksellers, it gives them all the information they need to order your book. And if you include the right information, it may spark them to decide to buy your book.
This is sometimes called a fact sheet. For those of you with a business background, you can think of it as sort of an Executive Summary.
And it's ridiculously simple to create.
I created a press sheet for my book, SMUGGLED ROSE, so I'll use that as a sample template.
Top Section: Just the facts, Ma'am, just the facts…
The top section is everything a buyer needs to know about your book. It should include title, date of publication, ISBN, publisher information, distributor information, and the list price. Here is the top section for SMUGGLED ROSE.
Smuggled Rose | Amy Corwin
Baker & Taylor
Date of publication:
May 3, 2007
Ellora's Cave Publishing
1056 Home Avenue
Akron OH, 44310
Middle Section: Tease me, tempt me…
The middle section includes a pretty picture of your front cover and the blurb from the back cover. Hopefully, your blurb will be so fascinating that whoever is looking at your press sheet (or reading the back of your book) will immediately have
to buy your book. So, here is the middle section for SMUGGLED ROSE.
A cynical earl and a rose smuggler are an unlikely pair, particularly when the smuggler is a supposedly fallen woman the earl owes for saving his brother's life.
Nonetheless, Michael, the earl of Ramsgate, is determined to repay his family's debt by presenting Margaret at Court—an action calculated to repair even the worst reputation. But Margaret has been burned before and is suspicious that Michael's intentions aren't entirely honorable…despite the certainty in her heart that she can trust him.
As the tension between them flares and Michael's feelings for Margaret strain his self-control, an old enemy bent on revenge returns to challenge Michael's iron determination…and threatens to take Margaret away from him forever.
Final Section: Wonderful me…
The final section includes a very, very brief biography and one or two reviews. Remember, all of this must fit on one sheet of paper, and visually, the more white space, the more appealing. So if you must err, err on the side of brevity and succinctness. This is not the time to drone on and on and on… But you do want to catch your audience's attention and leave them with the sense that they would like to meet you and that you are a successful author. Here is the final section for the SMUGGLED ROSE press sheet.
About the author:
Amy Padgett has been writing award winning Regency romances and romantic mysteries for nearly a decade. Smuggled Rose, her first Traditional Regency, was also the first of her titles to be published by Cerridwen Press for their Cotillion line. She worked as the editor and contributor for the Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society Newsletter for three years and currently grows over 100 old garden roses.
From the reviewers:
"With precise attention to not only societal rules but also characterization, Amy Corwin has authored a riveting traditional Regency romance that packs a lot of punch. Rich with the romanticism of the era that appeals to this reader, SMUGGLED ROSE is a sumptuous tale of love and learning to trust." —Romance Review Today
To give you a feel for how this looks "in toto" here is an image of the SMUGGLED ROSE press sheet. The page is obviously "shrunken" and included merely to give you a visual of white space and layout, rather than read the text. In reality, of course, this is perfectly legible and prints out on standard 8.5 x 11" paper.
That's pretty much all there is to it.
And after you create this, you can have the fun of putting together the rest of your media kit, including such items as a cover letter, any news clippings/articles about you, additional reviews, a longer bio sheet, sample questions & answers (e.g. if you are requesting an interview), public appearance schedule, a publicity photo of you, and so on.
Media/press kits can be as elaborate or simple as the need (and your budget) dictates, but in all cases, you should always include your press sheet.