Monday's Motivation

Writing Conference: Graphic Design for the One Sheet


Last week, we discussed some basic packing tips. This week, let’s create our one sheets. I started out by reading blogs from other authors and writers. With their suggestions, I began toying with Word. The following is how I ultimately formatted my sheet.

If you’re anything like me, the initial idea of a one sheet sounds exciting and fun. Then, you’ll dive into the trenches and find you lack the basic graphic design skills to make it happen. Well, have no fear my friends, I’ve added some of the tricks I used to make mine professional.

First, I started with an image I purchased from Etsy. This allowed me to create a simple background for my project. Adjust the settings on the image by right clicking and choosing “Text Wrapping”. I think the easiest to work with is “Behind Text”. Now size the image to fit your page.

1. Include your title. What are you offering? Make sure it’s obvious. I tried to choose the design based on my book. My novel, a colonial era romance, couldn’t just have a Times New Roman title at the top. I needed something to stick with the viewer, so I chose a period authentic typeface.

2. Add your hook. I wanted this to stand out, so I again used an Etsy image. I added my words to the image through the Studio app. I like that this app offers me a variety of font choices.

3. Write a back cover copy that pitches your novel. I don’t want my viewer to struggle reading through this paragraph, so here I did choose a Times New Roman. I kept it simple. If you’re designing through Word, use a textbox. You can hide the outline and even make the box transparent to show your background; however, this allows you to move the text and place it where you desire in the document.

4. Create or find a picture reflecting your novel. Have some fun with this…you need a stock photo. Don’t break copyright infringements by Googling and taking a photo without permission. I used Unsplash to find some pictures that might work. Unsplash doesn’t have many historical pictures though, and it certainly can’t reflect a futuristic fantasy if that’s your writing genre. This is where your imagination needs to come into play. I liked the appearance of a particular woman in a photo, but the background didn’t match my story. I found a picture of the ocean that did describe the setting, and lastly, I had a photo of a flag already on my computer. With these three images, I headed to Pixlr, a photo editing website. Using the tools available, I made the flag transparent and dropped the image over my ocean photo. It created a sort of double-exposure. Afterwards, I cut the woman from her background and placed her over the top of these other images. Suddenly, I had a custom made book cover! Warning: Pixlr can be difficult to use at first. Solution: Youtube for tutorials.

5. Make a bio. If this is your first novel, keep it short. Reflect the details pertinent to your writing. Maybe describe why you wrote the novel, or explain how your background gave you the knowledge for the story. Show a snippet of who you are as a writer. Include a picture, so that days later they have an image to remember you.

6. Add contact information. This is why you create a one sheet. Make sure to include your updated phone and email. If you already have an agent, list their information.

I wish you the very best as you continue preparing. Have a wonderful writing week!

2 thoughts on “Writing Conference: Graphic Design for the One Sheet

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