One sheets are a powerful marketing tool for you to use marketing your book and promoting the services that make up your personal brand. One sheets are easy to produce and free to distribute.

One sheets are the ideal way to build your brand at minimum cost.

Once you create your first one sheet, you’ll find it easy to create different versions for different topics

What’s a one sheet?

One sheets can be thought of as the author’s equivalent to a one-page flyer or product specification sheet. One sheets are printed on a single side of a single sheet of paper.

Only, instead of providing describing a product, authors use them to describe:

  • Books. Authors should prepare one sheets for each title while writing their book. Each book should have its own one sheet. One sheets should describe the book’s intended market, its market positioning, and the principal benefits it offers. It should describe the book in the context of the author’s career and other writing.
  • Speaking. Authors should offer several one sheets. First, authors should create a one sheet that provides an overview of their speaking, listing the various topics and audiences that they frequently address. This sheet should also contain testimonials from event planners and attendees. Then, individual one sheets can be prepared for the author’s most popular (and profitable) topics.
  • Consulting. The same hierarchical approach can be taken to preparing one sheets to promote an author’s consulting services. The first step is an overall view describing the types of projects the author works on, the clients served in the past, and a few, carefully-chosen, testimonials. Then, individual one sheets should be prepared for each of the author’s most popular (and profitable) project categories.

One sheet contents

As a starting point, think of a one sheet as a larger version of your book’s back cover. Notice how back covers “sell” the book in the context of the author’s qualifications. The back cover often begins with an emphasis on the book’s ability to help specific types of readers solve specific problems, but the book is presented in the context of the author’s other achievements.

Think of your one sheets as an expanded version of your book’s back cover

Indeed, as you research competing books in your field, I encourage you to pay as much, or more, attention to what’s on the back cover as what’s on the front cover.

One sheet formatting

One sheets don’t have to be fancy, but they should be consistent with the colors & typefaces used in your other print and online marketing.

The most important idea is the idea I developed in my Design to Sell book: design once, produce often.

The idea is simple: Don’t hire a graphic designer to produce every one of your one sheets! Instead, hire a graphic designer to create a custom template you can use over and over again for each of your books, products, and services.

Even a simple page layout program will save you money and give you a commanding edge of your competition by allowing you to produce your own one sheets, if you have a strong starting point, or template.

Separate design from production throughout all of your marketing and personal branding building. Hire professionals to create templates that you can complete over and over again.

One sheet distribution

Most of your one sheet’s distribution will be as downloadable PDF. However, try to send printed copies (in color) when following up with prospects.

If you have a color ink-jet printer, of course, avoid printing too many copies a week. Instead, take the files to the duplication center of an office supply superstore, like Staples, and have a couple of dozen printed out and saved until they’re needed.

When following up with prospects, if you can, send your one sheet and covering letter, or additional materials, flat in a 9 by 12 envelope. This “packaging” will enhance your message and professional image.

On your website, you might consider placing links to your one sheets from both the pages where you discuss your specific books, speaking, and consulting, as well as a “resources” page with links to each of your one sheets.

One sheets make your offer portable

One sheets add tangibility to your image, whether you use them to promote your book or build your brand by promoting the specific services you offer. A formatted PDF, even if your prospects just read it on screen, is more “portable”–or sharable–than the typical website page.

Few of your prospects make decisions in a vacuum. Most of your prospects share decision-making with co-workers, bosses, and partners. Expenses often require approval from department and division managers. One sheets that tell a complete story in an attractive and easy-to-read way make it easier for your prospects to convince others that your book is the one to buy, and you’re the one to hire for the next meeting or project.