Thursday, August 6, 2015
Overview Markets: Part Three: One Sheet
Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults
One-Page Sell Sheet
1) To Pitch
Think of it as a visual pitch and cover letter together, but with a shorter bio. Author Terry Burns says “it is a page with key information in that an editor can pull out and take to a committee meeting to pitch the book.” He includes an attention getting phrase or question as title. Once again: 1. This is my product. 2. Are you interested?
A potential series can be included here as well as in the cover letter.
One editor I know occasionally opens the calendar door for one-sheet submissions. He clearly states some specifics he wants to see. If he is interested he then requests a brief proposal: a cover letter, a one-page synopsis and three chapters. What I appreciate is the quick response. It’s an immediate—yes or no possibility. One caution though when submitting a one-sheet for a novel or longer non-fiction. Be sure the first or even second draft is complete. When a publishing house asks for one-sheet submissions they are usually looking for a completed project not an idea.
However often magazines and journals have specific topics or set themes and are looking for fresh perspective. One author I know writes regularly for a well-read audience but she has to wait for an email invitation from the senior editor to pitch. The timing is tight. If they say yes, she needs to be able to write up the article within a few weeks. So she sends two or three different pitches in different categories, as she doesn’t know where exactly the ‘holes’ are. Often her pitch might not fit the required immediate timing, but often her ideas will get a follow up invitation for the next edition.
2) To Prepare
Keep your own set of one-sheet ideas. Then if an opportunity opens you will be ready.
For example, you’ve noticed in your research that often the fall/winter issues that request nature might use pieces on hibernation. You’ve followed all the guidelines and polished your article till it shines. But they just bought one. No worries. Because of your research you have two or three alternatives that would be related without overlapping.
So whenever you research an article, make one-sheet list of possible sidebar or additional ideas to keep for your own file. When you have captured a child’s curiosity and hunger for discovery the best question is what comes next or how or why or where?
Think of your articles as stepping-stones. And from the research on your novel you will have a potential series of non-fiction pieces for either magazines, or blog material, or marketing.
Just as a query letter, or cover letter keep them succinct and inviting.
On Saturday I will post an example from my novel.
1. Take your query letter from the last blog and turn it into a one-sheet.
2. Make a list of side topics to go with your main pitch.
3. Turn them into one-sheets.
4. Make a list of any information you now need to fully develop these ideas angles into article or a longer project.
Share: How many article angles do you have from your original topic?
Read deep, marcy