Novel Editing: One Sheets Pt. 3

One Sheet Easy

In the midst of editing my novel and preparing for the ACFW writer’s conference, I delved into writing One Sheets for two of the books in my Midwest trilogy.

One piece of paper with author blurb and information, back cover blurb, captivating photo . . . easy, shmeasy, right?

Ah, ha-ha, yeaaaah. No.

Any writer knows that One Sheets are not very easy to write. And I add: not easy to write on your own.

As writers, we work solo until our masterpiece is completed. But then the solo work ends, and we recruit happy beta readers or critical family members to offer their viability on the book matter.

But a One Sheet — now, this is where we can’t do it on our own. Bryan Cohen in his book How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis (which is, by the way, .99 today on Amazon!) hits it home when Bryan says that authors hate writing book cover blurbs, because after they’ve spent countless hours thinking and crafting their novel, a blurb shouldn’t take over eight hours to write.

Alas, it does. I didn’t think it would be too hard, either. Buuut, I slogged through six drafts of my first novel’s One Sheet before I turned to my very honest sister (who will only read a book if the cover blurb is compelling), and said, “Hey, Amanda, will you please read this and tell me if it’s good?”

Five minutes later: “No.”

Ugh. I’d spent hours on it! “Okay, what’s missing?”

“Intrigue. Make me read it.”

I tilted my head, my thoughts turning over and over. “Okay…”

I sat down at my computer and clacked away for about twenty minutes. The adrenaline of trying to please her, to get her to say, “Yes, I want to read this!” spurred me to think very fast.

When the blurb was done, crafted with vivid verbs, imagery, and what I hoped was intrigue, I sat back, very satisfied. But I shouldn’t be the one to be satisfied.

I had to satisfy and sweep the reader into opening the book.

“Okay, Manda, what do you think?”

With interest, she scanned over it. And an eager expression cross her face. “I like it, and I want to read it.”

“Why?” (Always a good question for a writer to ask.)

She smiled. “Because it has the best friend’s brother in there, and I want to know why he’s there.”

Grinning, I knew I had nailed it for at least one reader.

So, the teachable moment? >>> Involved your hard-to-please readers when writing One Sheets! If your back cover blurb sweeps them off their feet, then good chances are, you’ve nailed it!

And you might not even have to spend 10 hours working on it.

>>> I’d like to know — what is your process for One Sheets?  Let me know in the comments! <<<


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