One Powerful Piece of Paper: How to Create the All-Important Book Flyer

October 2005
by Robin Bartlett

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One of the first things I
learned when I started in book marketing was how to write, develop, and design
the promotional page known as a book flyer or a sell sheet—the single
piece of paper that buyers, wholesalers, librarians, catalog buyers, and others
review to decide how many copies of your book to buy . . . or not.

The book flyer conveys the first,
and sometimes the only, impression a buyer may get of a book, and a mistake or
omission can have serious consequences because the sell-sheet information, once
entered into a supplier’s database, becomes the transactional information that
reference and promotional materials are derived from.

Two general guidelines and 10 tips
will help you make your flyer the very best document it can be.

Guideline #1

Design your book flyer to fit a
multitude of uses. For example, you might hand it out at lectures; attach it to
pitch letters; blow it up to be a poster; slip it inside complimentary and
autographed books; include it in your press kit; send it to people who are
writing articles, abstracts, or catalog copy; fax it, email it, and give it to
everybody who says, “Oh, you’ve written a book? What’s it about?” (Note: If you
want to take orders, it is advisable to develop an alternate version; see tip
#10 below.)

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