Sell Sheets: An Intro Guide for New Self-Publishers

A sell sheet is a one-sheet flyer that gives some detailed information about a book and its author. Here is a short discussion of what a sell sheet is and is not, how to use it, and what information it should include.

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What You Will Learn
1. Learn how a sell sheet is defined, and how it compares to a press release.
2. Learn what the basic items are that must be included in a proper sell sheet.
3. Learn how to market your book with a sell sheet.

What Is A Sell Sheet?

A sell sheet (sometimes called a “one-sheet” or a “tip-sheet”) is a one-sheet flyer that gives some detailed information about a book and its author. The major point of a sell sheet is to convey your book’s benefits in a short and concise manner. It’s used to help you market your book directly to book buyers.

It’s typically used to promote and sell your book to retailers, wholesalers, and even consumers. The sell sheet should always be included in your book’s media kit so that news outlets, book reviewers, and bookstores can have quick access to specific details about your book and your marketing plans.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #76

How Does A Press Release Compare To A Sell Sheet?
A press release and a sell sheet are two different marketing tools. A press release focuses on the news that you or your book is making. The press release is a way to share news-worthy information and is saying, “Hey, look at me, I have some news-worthy information to share with you.”

Conversely, a sell sheet is more of an announcement that your book is out and available. The sell sheet is saying, “Hey, look at me, I have published a new book and I want you to buy it. Here is all the information that you need to know before buying my book.”

What Must A Sell Sheet Include?
Picture/Image: A high-resolution picture or image of your book
Description: A short, but enticing, description about your book
Title: The full title, including the sub-title
Author Name: Your name here, as it appears on your cover, or website
Author Photograph: If you have enough room, include a photo
Co-Author Name: You guessed it, the co-author’s name
Foreword Author: This person typically has a name bigger than your own, so if this is true, include it

Sell Sheet Example

Sell Sheet Example

Category: List the shelving category (BISG category heading), or subject of your book
ISBN 13: The standard book number assigned to your book
Format: Trade paperback, hardcover, pdf, mobi
Publication Date: The date your book will be available for purchase
Pages: The number of pages of your book
Price: The cover price
Trim: The dimensions of your book (5.5”x8.5”, 8.5”x11”, 6”x9”)

Thank you very much to book publishing expert and author Dr. Judith Briles, of, for sharing my blog post.

Available from: Ingram, B&T, Amazon, for example
Marketing Plans: Targeted internet advertising; direct mail and email marketing; co-operative catalogs and trade show exhibits; social media marketing; video marketing
Quotes/Testimonials/Blurbs: This is important, especially if you have great ones to use
Call-To-Action: A statement such as “Visit MyBooksWebsiteDotCom for more info.”


How Do You Market Your Book Using A Sell Sheet?

When designed properly, the sell sheet will be like having a shortened version of your book’s webpage. You must use your sell sheet to communicate as many useful and informative details as you can about your book – but without overdoing it.

Be sure to put a call-to-action that asks the book buyer to call a phone number, or visit your website, or click a link to purchase at Amazon or Ingram. You must also include your sell sheet in your book’s media kit. Remember, your book’s sell sheet must be an integral part of your marketing plan.

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Have you created a sell sheet for your book?
2. Where, and how, are you using your sell sheet?

About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

I am an author, husband, father of twins, grandfather, and small business owner near New York City. I created this website to share my self-publishing and small-business adventures, insights, and experiences.
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