How to Write a One-Sheet for Your New Album
A one-sheet is what a distributor uses to sell a release to record stores. One-sheets are similar to album press releases in that they tell information that "sells" the album, but they also must include additional information that a store needs to know before deciding to buy an album for their shop, like the dealer price they will have to pay and the formats of the release. Sometimes music distributors will write one-sheets themselves, but in most cases, the label will be the one to open the one-sheets, and the distributor will then tweak it as necessary.
Getting the one sheet right is important; after all, this is your chance to tell record shops why they should be selling your album to their customer. This template will help you put together a one-sheet that does the job. First, a few basic points to keep in mind:
- One-sheets are called one-sheets for a reason: they're supposed to be one page long. Keep it clear and concise. Remember, shops have tons of these to read.
- Your one-sheet can be essentially the same as your album press release, with a few little changes.
Think of the header as the quick reference section of your sales sheet. Here, you should include:
- Label Name
- Artist Name
- Release Name
- Formats of the Release (CD, vinyl, etc)
- Catalog Number(s)
- Release Date
- Dealer Price
- Contact Information - Label Contacts and/or Distributor Contacts
Your header may also contain your label logo somewhere, or you may choose to have the logo above the header, in one of the upper corners of the page. If the album has a major selling point, such as it features a well-known artist on a track or was produced by someone well known, you can include that info in a tagline in the header to grab attention. It helps to set the header off from the rest of the one sheet by boxing it, bolding the text, italicizing the text or any combination of these methods.
The first paragraph should include the most important information about the release. It should have enough basic information in it that someone could read it and know enough about the release to sell it. If this is not the first release by the artist, use this first paragraph to remind the readers of past achievements, or if this is a debut release, give a brief introduction to the band. Remember that you have to keep one-sheets short, so if you feel that you can't tell everything about the band that you need to here, consider a separate band bio.
After introducing the artist, give some facts about the album that would be useful to the shop in selling it. These points will vary from release to release, of course, but they may include facts about who is featured on the album, where it was recorded, famous fans of the band and so forth. You should also give a description of the music; comparisons to other musicians are usually the most useful.
This paragraph is where you have the space to expand on some of the points you introduced in paragraph one. What you need to flush out here in your one-sheet depends on the release. For a new band, you might want to use this space for extra biographical information. For a group with a few releases under their belt, you might want to talk about a successful tour they had or a single from one of their last albums that did well.
In this final paragraph, include information about how the album will be promoted. If you are hiring PR, state that here. Mention any upcoming tours planned to support the album or any major press pieces you know are in the works. Record stores need to know this information so they know that you'll be working to sell the album, and the more promotion you can show that you have planned, the more copies they're likely to stock.
In closing, include links to your label's website, the artist's website and any other relevant promotional sites someone in the store might be interested in seeing to learn more. You can also include again a contact at the label for information and/or a contact at the distributor. Like the header, setting this information apart in some way is helpful.