Saturday, July 30, 2011

Author Promo Tools - What's a Sell Sheet? by Stephanie Burkhart

Just recently I had a one of my friends share their sell sheet with me on her recent release and I was very impressed. When my story, "The Giving Meadow," came out, I prepared a sell sheet for the book as well. So what's a sell sheet and why is it an important promotional tool?

A sell sheet is a one page flyer that includes all the information on your book in a "compact" format that's quick and easy to read. Think of it like a baptism annoucement - it lets you get the word out about your "baby." It can be easily mailed to bookstores, and handed out at writing conferences, conventions, or public appearances. It's a tool that's very helpful to promote your book and very inexpensive.

As an author, I designed my own sell sheet. Remember you want to keep it simple, yet eye-catching. Use only one or two different font and colors. Another tip: Don't cram too much information onto the page. Only put the important stuff on there.

Some items I included on my sell sheet:
About the Book (a 1 or 2 sentence blurb)
About the Author (use a small bio)
Any Reviews - try to use 1 or 2 sentences that are the "catchiest."

Most Important: Information on how to order the book.

The sell sheet is an annoucement that the book is out and available so don't hestitate to send it out.

Here's an Example of my sell sheet:

The Giving Meadow (This information is next to a picture of the cover)

Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2010
Price: $12.95
Author: Stephanie Burkhart
Illustrator: Stephen Macquignon
ISBN: 978-0982588697
32 pages

Available from Ingram Book Group or 4RV Publishing


About the book:
The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who hatches from his egg in the middle of a meadow. As he travels through the meadow, he meets new friends who learn the value of sharing.

About the Author:
Stephanie Burkhart lives in Castaic CA and works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. "The Giving Meadow" is her first children's book. The story was written for the Blessed Kateri Little Church Easter Play in 2009.

Reviews: "The Giving Meadow", author Stephanie Burkhart presents her readers with a charming fable about kindness and sharing. 5 Stars, Regina Andrews, Author of Destiny's Designs and Spotlight on Love.
The caterpillar's insect and animal friends demonstrate positive character traits of mercy, compassion and caring. The Giving Meadow is perfect for the innocent years of early childhood. Toddlers and preschoolers will love to snuggle up before nap or at bedtime to hear this soothing story read to them. 5 Stars, Beth Beinke, Author of In My Bath, and A Wish and Prayer.

How To Order: 4RV Publishing, Vivian Gilbert Zabel, President, Daniel Hay, Editor in Chief, Phone: 405-225-7298. Website:

Ingram Book Company: Ingram Books, One Ingram Bl., La Vergne, TN, 37068. To place an order: 1-800-937-8000 or or


I welcome any comments, feedback, and suggestions. Tell us what's on your sell sheet. Have you used a sell sheet?


  1. Good information and example, Steph.


  2. This was so helpful! I will do one for each book I illustrate and those I write and illustrate. Who knew? This is new for me and makes so much sense.
    Thanks Steph!

  3. Great idea Steph! I'll be using one myself.

  4. Steph, I've heard of sell sheets and made them in the past, but have not used them enough. Thank you for the excellent reminder! ";o)

  5. Hi Steph, I made a sell sheet that I sent by email to many readers, fans, and friends.

  6. Thanks, Steph. I need to update mine.

  7. This is what I made as a press release for my last pbk. Most useful.

  8. Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for sharing the reasons behind a sell sheet and a great example to educate and inspire us to do one for our books.
    Do something fun to celebrate you today.
    Joan Y. Edwards

  9. when i did the computer class in school we had to come up with one i did one on a book i read but i like the book my grand kids would love it

  10. Great idea, I'm off to make one for myself!

  11. Is this the right place for author web site info, etc.?

  12. Good info, Stephanie, and so helpful.

    Thanks. This was all new to me.

    Toni Noel

  13. Great information! I need to make one up and get going on all the other promo stuff that needs to be done.

  14. Thanks everyone for popping in and commenting. I'm glad the blog was helpful. Laurie, the 4RV has a lot of useful promo tips, so this is the right place if you are looking for them.


  15. Steph, I meant if the sell sheet was an appropriate place to put author contact info. Sorry.