What bookdealers really mean. A dictionary by Tom Congalton and Dan Gregory (Between the Covers), with additions from other sources
From English sheets
When the pages used for the American edition of a book that was originally published in England, were imported from England – in effect slapping a new title page and a new binding, with the American publisher's name on it, on the printed pages from the English edition. The sheets of Alice in Wonderland, after being rejected as inferior by Lewis Carroll, were shipped to America, and when thus fitted out, they became the first American edition "from English sheets.
From English shets