Ayden Lowther's Brain Dump #2 Making The Sell Sheet
Ayden discusses how he developed his sell sheet, and where you can find information to develop your own!
So, it turns out making a game isn’t all you need to do to get published… Don’t worry, I already knew this, but knowing it and knowing how to do something about it are two different things. Luckily, there are some very helpful people in this industry that are happy to point us in the right direction. And the first stop (after designing a game) is to craft a sell sheet. A sell sheet is a piece of paper that essentially tells you about a game in a way that makes you want to buy it.
My first few drafts of a sell sheet were crowded with text and didn’t have much room for pictures at all. I also tried to cram everything including the rules onto the sheet. Needless to say, it was a dull sell sheet. However, after listening to Jeremy Commandeur on the Board Game Design Lab podcast, I picked up some tips that have drastically improved it.
Jeremy is the organiser of the largest Protospiel in the US and has seen countless sell sheets. He talks about making sure that your sell sheet has a large number of images of your game on it. That it states what type of game it is, what the hook is, and what makes it unique from other games. He also says to put in a section about the components so that publishers can work out fairly sharpish how much your game is going to cost to manufacture.
For me, this was all great information. I rushed straight back to my old sell sheet that had out of date images and walls of text, I picked up a metaphorical knife, and I started cutting at it. I took out all the rules and turn order, I cut the brief in half, I added a few words to show its unique features and I cut the component details to show exactly how many of each component was in the game. For example, before I had it say there was 68 resource cards, 9 room cards, 4 reference cards, and 24 event cards. You know what’s quicker to understand and takes up less space? Just saying there are 105 cards! I have no idea why I didn’t do that in the first place, but I suppose that’s why I listen to design podcasts. Below is my current sell sheet for Stranded Spacecraft. I doubt it'll be my last draft but it has definitely come a long way.
Jeremy also talked about business cards and how it is important to have them for those times that you just need to give someone important your contact details. He also says not to overcrowd this as well and it makes sense. If I’m going to contact someone and they give me their card, all it needs on it is their name, company name, and email address. It doesn’t need 20 other links to your Facebook page, Twitter page, Myspace page etc. If I want to find you on social media then I’ll figure it out quite easily.
Now I’ve only made drafts of the business card and Simon and myself aren’t set on one yet, but here are a couple of examples. What do you think? Which would you choose and why? Also, do you have any examples of sell sheets that you use for inspiration? Or maybe you have had success with your own sell sheets. Let me know on Twitter or Facebook. Links to both are at the bottom of the page.
Thanks for stopping by.