Since grade school, you’ve been told repeatedly how important first impressions are. When submitting material to magazines, newspapers and radio stations, personal hygiene and grooming are, thankfully, a non-issue. However, it can still be a challenge to meet the standard of professionalism that is required from that one piece of paper that substitutes for a hand shake. Since the one-sheet is the most important item besides the hard copy to ensure that your music gets listened to and given a fair shake, it’s worth the extra effort to get it right.
The Necessities of Every One-Sheet
So, just what is the image that your one-sheet portrays? You must remember that people are making snap judgments of you based on the information contained here so being mindful of that will help you weave an interesting sheet. For the purposes of this post, I will be speaking of securing reviews and airplay with your sheet. Therefore, you must convey all pertinent release information, bio, press and album details concisely and as compelling as possible. The writing of the sheet is largely up to you but information that must be included is:
- Name of Artist/Band – Start with the name of the artist at the top of the page. Preferably, the name is branded with a unique font and/or logo. Keep it consistent with what’s on the album.
- Artwork/Photos – Including the artwork and appropriate band photos serves several purposes. First, it further brands your work. Additionally, it allows you to communicate on a deeper level with your intended audience. Secondly, should the one-sheet get separated from the hard copy, it’s not a total loss.
- Release Date – State when the album was or will be made available to the public.
- Album Name and Track Listing – Track listing is very important because it allows you to convey the next two points.
- Explicit Content – Using the track listing, point out any tracks that contain explicit or inappropriate content. If they are strong tracks, be sure to include a clean edit.
- Recommended to Start – Also point out the strongest tracks and which ones you would like spun or given extra attention to.
- Genre – Go ahead and spell it out. In fact, reviewers appreciate it. Don’t get cute and come up with weird genre names for yourself. Just say “Rock” or “Folk” or whatever the case may be.
- RIYL (Recommended if You Like) – Indicate other bands that you sound like. This will further solidify your brand and make it easy for people to relate to you and your album.
- Press Quotes – If you have had any previous reviews or quotes be sure to include a few. This will obviously bring favorable attention to you.
- Bio – This is undoubtedly the hardest part of the one-sheet. Keep it brief and talk about accomplishments and previous awards or attention that you received. The bio can be woven into the album description if you choose but make sure the information is there.
- Album Description – Talk about the tone and feeling of the album. Reference highlights and strong moments and really work on making your album sound as astonishing as possible.
- Website/Social Media Links – When reviewers are interested in you, they want to have as much as possible to write and talk about. Make it easy for them.
- Contact Info – Last but not least, make sure that you can be contacted for interviews or follow ups of any kind. Phone number and email address is a must.
Now You’re Ready
Once all of these essential components are on your one-sheet, you can rest easy knowing that it meets professional standards and will make a favorable impression. These points constitute everything that a reviewer or DJ will need to make a thorough and fair analysis of your work. Now pop it in the mail and get noticed.