So, you’ve finished writing your novel… now what?
This month, Fiona, Gabbie and I will be discussing different ways to pitch your novel.
Some of the most exciting things I’ve experienced on my writing journey are Twitter pitch events.
What are Twitter Pitch events?
To state the obvious, Twitter pitch events are pitching events held on Twitter.
For a set period of time (commonly 12 hours but sometimes 24 hours) writers can pitch their novel to agents and editors. Agents and editors then invite writers to query them by favouriting the Twitter pitches (or twitches) that catch their interest.
Twitter pitch events are a regular occurrence these days: PitMad is held every March, July, September and December; PitchMAS every July and December; SFFpit in June and December; and AdPit every February and August.
And now agents and agencies are hosting their own pitch events. For example, every few months Erin Niumata invites writers to pitch directly to her on Twitter and Curtis Brown hosts monthly pitching events at #PitchCB.*
Generally, you can pitch your novel twice an hour (except when directly pitching to agents and agencies – be sure to check their pitch guidelines before participating). And to help agents and editors find your twitches among the sea of tweets on the feed you are encouraged to use category and genre hashtags. Different events utilise different hashtags, so be sure to peruse their lists before you pitch:
Usually when I participate, I make sure I have 24 pitches ready to go and I load them into Tweetdeck ahead of time (as I live in Australia – most pitch events begin when I’m going to bed). Just remember, if you use scheduling tools like Tweetdeck and Buffer, make sure you re-word pitches you plan to use more than once otherwise they may not be posted (Tweetdeck and Buffer do not like duplicate tweets when they are posted close together).
Oh, and remember, whether you are participating or simply supporting writers who are, only retweet – do not favourite twitches. That is only for agents and editors to do.
What is a Twitch?
A Twitter pitch (or twitch) is a 140 character pitch of your novel.
Most writers focus on one aspect of their novel per twitch – either character, conflict, premise, stakes or voice – the most popular (and highly recommended by many writers) being stakes (ie. When this happens to the main character, she must to this, or else this will happen).
My most successful twitch to date, however, does not have stakes in it. In fact, it was one I threw in on the spur of the moment – my last pitch for the day – and it snagged stars from three agents:
She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. Love destined or doomed? BUFFY x OUTLANDER #Pitmad YA PR
Why do I love Twitter Pitch events?
1. Hot-querying instead of cold-querying
I’ve had far more requests for fulls and partials from Twitter pitch events than general cold-querying. I think this might have something to do with the fact, right now, my novel is a hard sell (it is a YA vampire novel and historical to boot). Figuring out which agents might be interested in YA historical paranormal novels and worth querying is tricky – but when I pitch on Twitter I know which agents are interested in my premise because they give me a gold star 😀
2. Meeting other writers
Participating in Twitter pitch events is a wonderful way to meet other writers and extend your online network.
3. It is fun
The moment a pitch event kicks off is exciting. One minute the feed is still, and the next – wham! – the tweets start flying.
4. Honing your pitching skills
140 characters is not much. When you spend hours crafting a dozen or more Twitter pitches, you quickly learn how to summarise your novel – a skill that is never a waste to have.
Here are some of my most successful twitches that have garnered multiple stars from agents/editors:
- She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. Love destined or doomed? BUFFY x OUTLANDER #Pitmad YA PR
- Some people can tame horses, others can sweet-talk hounds, but 17yo Boudica can force vampires to their knees…with a whisper #Pitmad #YA #PR
- In 18c Scotland, a 17yo girl learns to tame vampires with her words. OUTLANDER meets ANITA BLAKE but with panties on. #Pitmad #YA #PR #HF
- In 18c Scotland, where hellhounds roam & witches spin lies, the survival of an entire clan rests with a 17yo girl. #Pitmad #YA #PR #HF
- She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. A 18c love story inspired by Celtic folklore #Pitmad #YA
- Cute boys in kilts. Witches harboring secrets. Monsters masquerading as friends. Life’s complicated when you’re the Whisperer #Pitmad #YA PR
- In 18c Scotland, 17yo girl must hone her ability to tame vampires if she wants to face the monsters who massacred her kin & live #PitMad #YA
- Scotland 1723: To save her clan, 17yo girl must hone her vampire taming powers but it means trusting the boy who betrayed her. #Pitchmas #YA
- 17yo Boudica can tame vampires with her words. But she’s being hunted & must decide if her childhood beau is friend or foe #Pitmad #YA #PR
- In 18c Scotland, a smithy’s daughter & a cute vampire in a kilt must join forces to defeat the monster who massacred her kin #Pitmad #YA #PR
Some great articles if you want to know more:
- Tweeting a Winning Pitch
- Busting the #1 Twitter Pitch Myth
- An Literary Agent’s Process and Advice for Twitter Pitches
- Twitter Pitch Logline Generator
- The Ultimate Writers’ Guide to Twitter Pitch Contests
- Requested Pitches from January PitMad 2013
- How #PitMad Helped Me Get a Literary Agent (And Tips for The Next One)
- Contest Madness
* If you know of any other agents/agencies that hold pitching events, please let me know in the comments below