It’s #PitMad day! I had SO much fun competing last year, and ended up with a whole bunch of requests. While it didn’t ultimately lead to an agent for me and I ended up pursuing a different path, it definitely helped my confidence! Instead of writing yet another pitch post, I decided it might be a good idea to dig through the TGNA archives and share the three awesome posts we already have.
Here’s my post from last year, where I break down the parts of a pitch (using an example from my book, A Magic Dark and Bright):
MAIN CHARACTER: Amelia
WHAT SHE WANTS: wanted to help the ghost in the woods;
WHAT STANDS IN HER WAY: she didn’t count on unleashing a curse.
FURTHER COMPLICATIONS: As her classmates’ bodies pile up
SOLUTION: she must exonerate the boy next door
WHAT’S AT STAKE IF SHE FAILS: –or end up the next victim.
1) Sum up your novel in 140 characters. Here is my recipe for a successful Twitter pitch:
Stakes/Conflict (the most important part of your pitch, in my humble opinion)
Category and Genre (ie: YA F for Young Adult Fantasy)
2) Avoid vagueness at all cost! You want your pitch to be as specific as possible so it stands out in the Twitter feed and people remember it.
3) Make sure to check the contest guidelines. For example, #AdPit is for Adult manuscripts only.
4) Find other writers to critique your pitches. It’s better to test if your pitches work before the contest!
I got it. She expanded this thought to say you should tell your pitch to this eleven year-old with the idea of convincing him this is a book he’ll be so excited to read, he’ll want to grab it right out of your hand. Get to the good stuff; the action. Kids don’t care about the backstory or character motivation when you’re trying to convince them to read a book, they want the main events.
There you go! Three posts to help you craft a winning pitch for #PitMad! But before you go, I have a few last minute tips for you:
- Rotate your pitches throughout the day. Don’t keep tweeting the same ones over and over–see which ones are getting the biggest responses (RTs, Favorites) and adjust from there.
- Don’t pitch constantly. I tried to limit myself to once per hour, and spent the rest of the time working (hah) or boosting others’ tweets.
- Don’t be afraid to get a little weird! I ended up tweeting this as a semi-joke in September and ended up getting three favorites:
— Jenny Perinovic (@JennyPerinovic) September 9, 2014
- HAVE FUN! And remember that just because you get a request doesn’t mean you have to send pages; no agent is better than a bad agent or an agent who isn’t a good fit. Do your research. Be your own best advocate.