What Is a One Sheet in Music and Why Do I Need One?

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A "one sheet" (also known as a "sales sheet") in music industry sales is a single sheet that gives information about a new release that may be helpful for labels and distributors in selling the album. It contains information about the band including the band's past achievements; information about the recording of the album; the style of the music; the track listing and any other details that make it stand out, and will help drive sales. The "one sheet" also has the album's release date, its catalog number and list price, if being used by a distributor.

The Term 'One Sheet'

The name "one sheet" stems from the fact that most of these sheets are one page in length. Therefore, it is best to limit yourself to a single page if you are writing one. If necessary, you can include a separate band bio or press release to add information that doesn't fit on your "one sheet."

Purposes of the One Sheet

"One sheets" are very similar to album press releases used to generate media coverage for a new release, and in some cases, they function as the same document. But keep in mind that "one sheets" are designed to sell an album—a distributor will use a "one sheet" to convince buyers who sell albums to stock an album.

Key Components of the One Sheet

The "one sheet" covers essential information about the album and the band and provides a quick impression of the artist, the band and the album including:

  • Band name
  • Album name
  • Price
  • Label
  • Catalog number
  • Release date
  • Contact information

If you're a musician, it's worth noting that your "one sheet" may also include images that make it pop, such as the album cover art and maybe a picture of yourself or your band. You may also want to include some links to your social media feeds, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Keep Your One Sheet Simple

Information on a "one sheet" is meant to be read and understood quickly so save your long story of how the album was produced for the press release which can be as long as three pages.

Other Uses for a One Sheet

"One Sheet" can be useful in a variety of other ways. Having a strong "one sheet" can be helpful if you're contacting the media because you want them to review the album. In this case, it's recommended that you include a track list and highlight a few choice tracks. The media will also need a copy of your album, in addition to the "one sheet," before writing a review. You can also use your "one sheet" when contacting venues to book gigs or reaching out to radio stations. This way, your "one sheet" can function like a simple press kit to promote you and/or your band.