In my last post, I included an image of the Advanced Info Sheet (AIS) for my novel, Ivory Tower. Here it is again, in case you missed it:
This document is used by publishers (like yourself) to inform venues, magazines, reviewers, and distributors about a new work. It’s also called a “sell sheet” among other names, and it’s an important weapon in your marketing arsenal. As author Debbie Young writes on the ALLi blog, using an AIS, “shows we speak the bookseller’s language. It shows we respect reviewers’ time and needs.” She also gives some great advice and good-looking examples on that page, but you can find other examples with a simple web search. They are ubiquitous.
One element I did not include in this version are blurbs, and that is because I don’t have any yet. Yes, people have read my novel, but I unfortunately have not asked any of them to write a review yet. My bad. So, I had to make an AIS in order to get reviews. When I have some, I will update the sheet with a “What People Are Saying” section.
So, some things I learned about AIS and their use:
- Make one as early as you can, ideally a year before your publication date. Start making it when you get close to ready to submit for publication, at least.
- Look at many examples and employ elements that fit your needs. Some elements are required (ISBN, pages, genre, format, pub date, publisher, distributors) but others can be tailored.
- Include a photo the cover. If you don’t have a cover yet, or an ISBN for that matter, you aren’t ready to make an AIS or send one out.
- Make it attractive through use of color, layout, balance, and other design elements. Get help if those things are not your forte.
- Distribute it widely – this is your book’s calling card.
Anyone else have advice or lessons-learned about AIS’s? Leave a comment!