Last week Wednesday was #PitMad day. And if you don’t know already, the hashtag #PitMad stands for pitch madness. It’s a contest that lasts for twelve hours from 8am to 8pm. When you can pitch your book (and it has to be a completed manuscript). And in 140 characters, twice per hour on Twitter.
It’s a great way to possibly land an agent or publisher. As well as it offers the chance to network with other writers. Although I didn't pitch I did support the twitter pitches I found interesting and enjoyed reading. How? Well first I’ll have to go over the rules.
- You can let your fellow writer followers know about #PitMad day. You can tweet an announcement, share the information across your social media or to your writing groups. I found out about #PitMad because I stumbled onto it. The same happened when I found out the day it’ll take place. It’d be nice to receive a heads up or a reminder of such events. It can be a random act of kindness for other writers trying to get out of the slush pile.
- If you’ve read a Twitter pitch you really like, RT it. By retweeting a twitter pitch, you're supporting the author. Helping him/her to raise their profile to the agents who are watching the hashtag #PitMad feed.
- If you’ve read a Twitter pitch you really like, DO NOT FAVORITE it. Clicking “favorite” is not supporting the author. You’re disappointing him/her. The click to favorite function is for agents only. It lets the author know that the agent/publisher is interested in their manuscript. It's giving them the okay to query and submit the first 10-20 pages to them. So if you’re not an agent, retweet only. Or risk disappointing an author.
Now let’s say, you are a participant. Here are a few things I’ve learned from monitoring and retweeting the #PitMad Twitter feed:
- Introduce the main character. Let us know their name, age, profession, position, etc. These are the indicators to who the main character is.
- Introduce the stakes. Now that we know who the main character is, you need to also inform what’s going on with them. What’s the story about? What’s their story?
- Introduce the genre. We already know the above. Now your Twitter pitch has to show what kind of genre it is. This is where word usage is important. And knowing which particular words to use to convey that. eg. If the genre is a supernatural one, using words like witches, vampires, ghosts are perfect.
- List the category of the novel. You only have 140 characters to do all of the above. But you still need enough space to include the hashtag #PitMad. As well as if it’s a young adult novel, memoir, science fiction and fantasy so agents/publishers looking for those categories can find you. So here’s a list of hashtags to use along with #PitMad: #YA (young adult), #MG (middle grade), #NA (new adult), #NF (nonfiction), #WF (women’s fiction), #LF (literary fiction), #MEM (memoir), #SFF (science fiction and fantasy), #FA (fantasy), etc.
How #PitMade Helped Me Get a Literary Agent (And Tips for the Next One) by Diana Urban
How to Write a Great Twitter Pitch by Ava Jae
Ten Tips for Twitter Pitching by Gina Denny
The 7 Rules of Twitter Pitching by Gina Denny
Monday Musings: Pitch to Win by Amy Trueblood
PS My manuscripts are not yet twitter pitch ready. Nonetheless #PitMad day inspired me to try writing some twitter pitches of my WIPs to use in the future (with a little tweaking of course). So here’s what I’ve created:
For Nadia, the Hidden Fire Witch:
- Everyone has secrets but Nadia’s secret can rip away what she wants most. Having friends and a happy school life.
- 16yo Nadia the new witch in town. But settling in won’t be easy. Someone’s after her magic. And she has to catch them first.
- 16yo Nadia’s the new witch in a town full of secrets. And those secrets are coming for her.
For Harbingers of El Tinor:
- What does a runaway noblewoman, a seer & an agitator/insurgent/rebel have in common? Nothing. But the fate of mankind.
- An ancient, forgotten god is set to finish what he started millennia ago. Only a cynical seer & a brash noblewoman can stop him.
What do you think of my attempt at twitter pitching? How would you twitter pitch your novel? Have you participated in #PitMad day? Was it a success? Do you have any twitter pitch advice you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments section below.
PS As always, I’m looking for a few good men and women to participate in my “30 Days of Poetry Love” blog project for National Poetry Month in two weeks. I’ve gotten a new participant, my former college advisor and English literature professor. But I still need a few more, so signup below. Also, to those who’ve already signed up and received your Q&As, I’ve sent you reminders to turn it in. As well as to check your spam/junk folders in case they were sent there. If you need me to resend your questions, you can contact me here.