Friday, May 29, 2009



by Robert W. Walker

Once you have a book on the way—that is during this long, pregnant period between signing a contract and seeing an actual baby book born, there are limited activities an author can take advantage of save talking about the book’s “evolving” and “coming” --and you can go to conferences, get involved online, give away chapter(s) on your website, talk it up and use a signature line. However, once the baby has developed to the point of having an ISBN# and a NEWS RELEASE and a SALES SHEET (which is often done by a publisher in a single business letter format), now you can introduce your child to the world. But why send out a separate and different invitation to all the different aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents, family and friends? After asking yourself the key questions: Who are those interested in the birth of a newborn book? Who would be interested? And what do they need to know about the child? Have they a special interest as in they are the Society for Whatever, you want to provide them with Sales Info and News of the baby book. A logo would be nice; a photo might be nice—cover art if available (a sonogram?) —but most important at this stage: the Sales Sheet-News Release.

The family of interested folks in the case of a newborn novel will be reviewers, feature news reporters, special interest groups, bookstore managers, e-Zine and hardcopy magazines, and library acquisition people, and anyone interested in the “platform” or threads in your novel that you feel comfortable in sending news and information to—as in your local Friends of the Library or perhaps the Chamber of Commerce or every local coffee shop or bowling alley depending of course on the nature of your baby story. Of curse, a single sheet, ONE-invitation for all may not work for ALL the family interested in this baby, so some individualizing (fresh angles) of the material may be necessary in sending out the baby invites and the book launch invites or blog tour invites.

The single-sheet News Release/Sales Sheet is a great way to reach a lot of people with the information you want to convey—and the info that they need for their reviews, articles, invitations, orders, orders, and more book orders. In order to convey how very useful a Sales Sheet combined with a News Release can be of help to you when the time comes I am attaching the Sales Sheet/Release put together by Five Star/Tekno Books for my upcoming Dead On. Notice the sales information needed by everyone is at the forefront, a brief description of the book (synopsis) and a blurb follows the salutation. This one runs slightly over a page as I modified it to send out Advance Reader Copies directly from my location, but in its original, the Sales Sheet Release was a single business letter size. If you put one together for your title, try to keep it to a single sheet.

Here is the Example/Sample for your perusal, and if it helps to organize your own Sales Sheet Release steal it! Then I have done my job in helping you get underway in the most difficult and frustrating activity writers gotta do these days – promote. Many complaints I hear is “how do we know what works” in the way of promo? This works! Trust me!

An Imprint of Gale

May 28, 2009

Title & Author: Dead On: A Marcus Rydell, Kat Holley PI Thriller by Robert W. Walker
Publication Date: July 17, 2009
Format & Price: Hardcover, $25.95
Genre: Thriller
ISBN 13: 978-1-59414-781-4

Dear Reviewer:

Five Star™ and Chicago author Robert W. Walker are pleased to enclose an advance reading copy of this title for your review consideration. This is one of FS’s lead titles for July – a little dark summer reading; or summer reading with an edge!

“Walker’s whip-smart dialogue, vivid characters, and ever-building tension make
Dead On a terrifically compelling read.”
—Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of The Keepsake

PI Marcus Rydell is out to reclaim his hold on life. Dr. Kat Holley seeks a fiery revenge on a maniac who has destroyed both their lives. Together, hero and heroine hunters come to respect and understand one another, and to share a bond that colors this suspenseful thriller filled as it is with bright touches of romance, light banter, and laugh-out-loud humor alongside terror. And as in any good noir thriller, there figures a black dog; this one’s named Paco.
Just when disgraced Atlanta cop-turned-PI Marcus Rydell prepares to eat his gun, a kid in trouble, a call to duty, and a dirty blonde named Kat Holley stop him cold. Kat Holley pulls Marcus from a suicidal depression, and his soon-to-be demolished apartment building—only to make him face a past he cannot come to terms with without her. But not before she leads him on a deadly hunt deep into the blackest forests of the Red Earth State. Near the Georgia–Tennessee border in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Lake countryside, the pair witness a safe paradise become their death trap, as their prey is no ordinary man. They seek to destroy a local legend, a cave-dwelling ex-marine who happens to be a multiple murderer. In fact, their prey is a monster whose instincts and military training have allowed him to survive in the wilderness for four years, eluding the Feds as well as the Atlanta PD.
However, the hunt for the evil torturer and executioner, Iden Cantu, pivots. And now Cantu comes for them, leaving the dead in his wake. In the end, they must duel with this psychotic deviant, who is equipped with night-vision, a high-powered Bushman and a cruel intent to kill by means of mental and physical pain.

Robert W. Walker, Chicagoan, now resides in West Virginia.

We appreciate your review consideration of this title, and invite you to contact us if you have any questions. To learn more about Five Star, you can visit our website at . Thanks again!


Tiffany Schofield
Acquisition Editor, Email:

Robert W. Walker

Robert W. Walker, author of City for Ransom, Dead On, phone: 304-419-3550


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Similar to the traditional "sell sheet" then?

L. Diane Wolfe

Anonymous said...

Very effective letter. Worth copying. (-:
Thanks --
Pat Browning

Anonymous said...

Rob, exactly what I need, and I STILL love that quote by Tess Gerritsen. ~Drue

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

Thanks for the sample and suggestions! What wonderful help for those of us in the "baby" stage.
Daryl Wood Gerber,
writing as Avery Aames,
The Cheese Shop Mysteries,
Berkley Prime Crime 2010

Terry Odell said...

Models are always good. I did my own when my book was in the advance promo stage. This has some very helpful content.

carl brookins said...

Daryl, just wanted you to know
my mother's given name was Avery, and her last name?
Ames, of course!

carl brookins said...

Good letter. I would add a line indicating distribution/wholesale names.

As a reviewer, I have talked to many many other reviewers, nearly all of who tell me they do not read review comments included with or on sell sheets.

I concur. Prefer to make up my mind without others opinions in the way. Fairer to the book, I think.

Rob Walker said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by and dropping a line. Carl, as to the quote on the sell sheet/Release well this was Tess G. man! Actually that portion of the sheet was put together by the publisher and not myself. I just went out and got the blurb. I did have my quibbles about it but I figured Five Star knew what they were doing. The good news -- I got a Booklist Review comment on the cover now! And for certain the use of my model is self-serving BSP but it is also a generous sharing from the heart. And a little secret, I have never turned anyone down for a blurb. Can't say the same for my requests of others!


Rob Walker said...

By the way -- I have always lived with what I call positive arrogance...that is an arrogance of the positive kind. How can we be people who believe that others want to read something we write if we have no backbone and no arrogance d'positive? And dreamers we must be, else we would not be writers after all or at all.
Dream on -- and pursue big name authors and you will learn most are quite human and approachable, and when they don't follow thru or fail to help, chalk it up to part of life, as life intrudes on us all. I? had a huge name say she would blurb my book but she simply never got around to it. That's par for some, but for many others not so. Have had some say they blurb for no one, then I see them blurb for someone it goes. Keep up the fight for your work.

Maryannwrites said...

Thanks for the good info and the sample letter. I did my own for One Small Victory when it came out, and I am glad to see that I was pretty close to what seems to work well for Five Star.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

Great info, thanks for sharing! I'm keeping this in my files.

Margot Justes said...

I printed it out-great sample for future use.
Margot Justes

Rob Walker said...

Yous Guys is gettin me blushin...
thanks everyone for coming by. I am in the process of doing a How to book for writers entitled DEAD ON WRITING - subtitle -- Down and Dirty Techniques for the Disorganized


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