Sunday, April 27, 2014

Make your Sell Sheets Sell

Templates for sell sheets on the Web make it appear that there are defined rules for sell sheets. I think there is only one rule: Sell sheets should appeal to buyers and make them want to buy your book.

Most book buyers don’t read anything that looks dense or difficult.
  • ·      Use size 12 or 14 print.
  • ·      Leave plenty of white space.
  • ·      Keep paragraphs short.
  • ·      Try using a two-column format.
  • ·      Limit the sell sheet to one-page.
Use color. The choice of color depends on the genre of the book and the cover, which is the main artwork on most sell sheets. For example, pastels and purple are often used to sell romances.

Design features are important but shouldn’t overpower. For example, a narrow (one-half inch) border of black and white zebra stripes around the edge of a sell sheet for a children’s book might be effective, but a wider border would detract from the cover and the blurb. Generally I like design features (such as a colored box) that draw attention to the book’s blurb.

Consider making two versions of your sell sheet. Book retailers and distributors often cringe when they see the word Amazon. Information on how to obtain the books from Amazon is essential when you’re talking to most readers at book fairs and talks

  • ·      Title of the book, boldly at top of page
  • ·      Author’s info: name, website, blog, and other ways to contact. Some think a photo of the author and a short (one or two    sentences) bio are appealing.
  • ·      Blurb, only three to four sentences.
  • ·      Cover of the book, large enough that you can read the print
  • ·      Reviewers’ comments or awards
  • ·      Publisher’s info: name, date of publication, ways to contact
  • ·      Book info: genre, ISBN number, format, number of pages

What do you think makes a sell sheet effective? Let me know.


 JL Greger, author of medical thrillers and mysteries - Ignore the Pain, Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Murder in the Worst Degree

I like Murder in the Worst Degree because the author F.M. Meredith of the mystery deals realistically with true life crises or opportunities (depending on your perspective) of her three-dimensional, lifelike characters. These include special needs children, Alzheimer’s Disease, end-of-life decisions, and balancing careers and marriage. F.M. (Marilyn) Meredith is also a joy to talk to, so please welcome her.

From novelist F.M. Meredith 

Janet asked me about how I came about the title for Murder in the Worst Degree. In yesterday’s post on my blog tour I explained how I came about all my titles, including this one. I’ll go into a little more detail about it came about.

This was the first time I had a title before I even had an inkling what I was going to write about. A friend from Nipomo, one I only see once a year when I go to the Nipomo Library to participate in a craft fair, told me on Facebook, “Why don’t you write a book with the title, Murder in the Worst Degree?”

So I thought, why not? I began the book and the more I got into it the more I knew the title didn’t fit the plot that was coming together. That is until nearly the end, then it came to me. When you read the book, you’ll see how the title fits the story.
Blurb for the latest RBPD mystery, Murder in the Worst Degree: The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.

F. M. Meredith aka Marilyn Meredith is the author of over 35 published books. She enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how what happens on the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of this first-hand.

Once again I am offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in a book if you comment on the most blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.

Available at:

Tomorrow Marilyn will be visiting Cora Ramos at 

JL Greger, author of Coming Flu, Murder: A New way to Lose Weight, and Ignore the Pain

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New Blog Game in Town – A Spider Web of Authors

Did you like to play tag when you were a child? Maybe you’ll enjoy participating in this adult version and decide it’s a good way to tell other authors about your work. Everyone who participates in this spider web answers the same four questions.

I’m sending Sara Almquist, my epidemiologist heroine in my medical thriller series, to Cuba. I’ve included sites (e.g. the La Floridita Bar that Hemingway made famous and the beautiful Springer Spaniels that were security dogs at José Martí International Airport in Havana) from my visit to Cuba last November. Sara took this public health assignment to get away from problems at home in New Mexico and to look for Xave, the “spook” who saved her in Bolivia in Ignore the Pain. Officially, she’s working for the State Department as they arrange scientific exchanges between the US and Cuba.

I’ve got a problem. Even though the first draft of the book is almost done I don’t have a title. Do you have suggestions? Leave a comment please.

I am a scientist, and I strive to create colorful scenes in my books by including factual scientific details and realistic, not stereotyped medical experts. I guess, I’m trying to do a bit of science education while I use my imagination to spin fictional thrillers.

My lead character epidemiologist Sara Almquist could be compared to the pathologist Kay Scarpetta
in Patricia’s Cornwell’s novels or the medical anthropologist Tempe Brennan in Kathy Reich’s medical thrillers. However, Sara is more irreverent to authority, takes herself less seriously, and is based in New Mexico. She also has great side-kicks – Bug, a Japanese Chin, and Linda, her sister.

I file interesting ideas from scientific journals, newspapers, and on-line search services as I find them. When I start thinking about a new novel, I sort through my files and pull articles that fit a common theme. Then I create a three to five-page outline of the novel. After that I let the characters take over.

I guess that means I’m an organized pantser or a disorganized plotter.

The spider, who caught me in this web, was Ilene Schneider. See her at She was caught into the web Sandy Fairfax. See her at . I snared Sharon Moore into the web. See his blog at
If you want to be included, I’ll alter this blog to include you in this web. Just let me know at