Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#PitMad - September 12, 2013

So. The Twitter party for PitchMadness (#PitMad) is coming on September 12th. Which is two days away! If you haven't considered participating, there's still plenty of time to get a pitch or two ready and jump into the fray.

There are a few things to remember if you want to participate.

1. You must be pitching a COMPLETED and POLISHED manuscript. Not that any of us will be able to tell, but if you get requests and send in something rough and awkward or have to say "Just wait another month and I'll be through with the rough draft/revisions/etc" you're only making yourself look like an amateur.

2. Pitches must be 140 characters or less and need to contain the hashtag #PitMad. It's even better if you can fit a genre/category hashtag in there (#YA #SpecFic #UF #whatever) as it saves the agents/editors time when they're browsing the feed. (Some pitches will obviously be Adult or Young Adult, but some are more ambiguous. If you don't want agents frustrated trying to guess whether your fairytale retelling is meant for adults or kids, use a category hashtag.)

3. It never hurts to have multiple pitches ready to go. This gives you more chances to pitch (Twitter will not allow you to tweet the exact same thing more than once so be prepared to move hashtags and small words around) and gives agents different looks at your work. A good approach is to have a pitch that covers the general plot, and then one or two that bring up the secondary plot or focus more tightly on one of the characters.

4. Do your best to write a pitch that reflects your book accurately. I once got a request from an agent who then rejected the expanded query because she didn't like steampunk. Which is fair enough and I should have been more specific in my pitching to make that clear.

5. During #PitMad try and show some restraint. It's easy to keep tweeting every couple of minutes but that only clogs the feed and, well, makes you look a little desperate. My approach is to try and tweet every half hour or so. (I'm pitching two different projects so I can put up a different pitch every quarter hour to 30 minutes depending on whether there are agents actively looking.)

6. Have fun. Pitching can be stressful, there's no better way to start second-guessing yourself than to see other pitches and try and compare them to yours. But the best thing you can do is be prepared and have fun. (Those other authors are probably looking at your pitches with envy too. That's insecurity for you.)

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