All authors need one-sheets, formatted single-page PDFs that can sell more books & contribute to building the author’s personal brand.
One of the best investments authors can make is to hire a graphic designer to create a one-sheet template, similar to the one at right. A one-sheet template establishes a format that you can use over and over again to promote your books.
Templates are a key efficiency tool for brand-building success; they make it possible for you to design once, produce often!
How you’ll benefit from a one-sheet template
A well-designed template offers these benefits:
- Saves planning and writing time. A good template provides guidance as you write the copy. Instead of starting with a blank screen, the template helps you decide what to put where, and how many words you have to write.
- Saves time formatting the text. Most templates include predefined text styles for headlines, subheads, body copy, and captions. Instead of needing to open menus, choose typefaces and type sizes, you simply select one of the previously-formatted options in your software’s Text Style drop-down menu.
- Brand-building consistency. Templates make it easy for you to create a series of attractive, easy-to-read, brand-building marketing materials. A good template visually differentiates your marketing materials from those of your competition.
- Perfect for offline use. PDF’s make it easy for prospects to download and print your marketing materials, often, sharing them with co-workers. Once created, you can use them to promoting your book and other services by including them with your presentation or speaker handouts.
- More than just books! Although one-sheets are primarily thought of as book marketing tools, once you create (or have created) a one-sheet template for your book, you’ll likely discover new uses for it. You can use the one-sheet template to promote information products like ebooks, workbooks, and videos; speaker materials like information sheets for meeting planners and descriptions of upcoming events; and one-sheet describing the different types of coaching and consulting services you offer.
Anatomy of a one-sheet template
Here are some of the design characteristics to pay attention to as you look at the sample one-sheet. Note: the example shows a title that’s no longer available.
- Headline. The 3-line headline at the top of the page is long enough to describe the offer and the benefits that buyers will achieve. More than just your book title, it describes the promise behind the book title. Even though the type size is relatively small, the headline dominates the one sheet and leads the readers’ eyes to the text that follows.
- Subheads. The subheads at the top of the text columns guide the reader’s eyes to the columns and provide a context for reading the text.
- Layout. The one-sheet is based on a simple 4-column grid. The first column is empty, except for the photograph of the book plus a feature testimonial. The second column provides an overview of the book or topic’s main features and benefits. The third column provides supporting details, i.e., a table of contents. The fourth column provides proof, i.e., reader comments and quotes.
Formatting details make a big difference.
For example, the left margin of the headline is aligned with the beginning of the second column. This adds white space and reinforces the headline’s relationship to the text.
Notice that the top of the book cover is aligned with the x-height of the text to the right of it (not the height of the capital letters). Note the right-alignment of the caption.
Finally, note that the width of the text in the featured quote is narrower than the screened background behind it which extends the full width of the column.
Tips for creating your one-sheet template
Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind as you create your own template:
- Typeface. Choose a typeface which reflects your other online and offline marketing materials, and use it consistently. Choose a sans serif typeface for headlines, subhead, and captions, and a serif typeface for body copy.
- Leading. Carefully adjust the leading, or line-spacing, of the text columns. Often single-line spacing is too tight, but double-line spacing is too generous. Choose a line spacing that looks “right” for your combination of typeface, type size, and line length.
- Paragraphs. Consider using extra space between paragraphs to indicate new paragraphs, rather than indenting the first line of new paragraphs. Extra paragraph spacing is often preferable when using narrow columns.
- Alignment. When working with narrow columns, avoid justified text, i.e., lines of equal length (which your software achieves by adjusting the word spacing in each line). Flush-left, ragged-right text concentrates white space at the ends of each line, adding visual interest.
- Hyphenation. Always hyphenate body copy, but monitor the hyphenation. Avoid 2, or more, lines in a row ending in hyphens. This is unsightly and often caused by using a type size too large for the column width. Make sure proper nouns are not hyphenated, and avoid splitting first and last names, or months, dates, and years on 2 lines.
One-sheets are long term investments
A good one-sheet template is an investment that will serve you for many years, simultaneously helping you sell more books while building your personal brand. Well-designed one-sheet templates can be adapted to sell a variety of products and services, while building your brand and supporting events like conferences, speeches, and workshops. Do you have any one-sheet examples you’d like to share with us?
Roger C. Parker’s Published &Profitable blog addresses the planning, writing, promoting, and profiting needs of brand-building authors