In 140 Characters or Less : #PitchingOnTwitter
Part II: 9 Sample Twitter Pitches
This post is the second of a three part series about pitching your book on Twitter. Come back to www.novelpitch.com tommorow for Part III #novelpitch
With #PitMad just a week away I thought I would gather some good examples of Twitter pitches that got attention in past #PitMad events. The tweets below appeared during #PitMad on the date listed and received both favorites and retweets during the event. Of that group, I selected my personal favorites to give a range of examples. In most cases (but not all) these tweets translated into submission requests from Agents or Editors.
Please note, that in all cases I have reached out to the original author to obtain permission to reuse their tweet here. Their words are quoted in BOLD below and their twitter handle is provided if you’d like to find out more about them or their writing. I’ve added my own commentary in Italics to help you consider how you might use these techniques for your own pitch.
Sample Pitches from #pitmad June 4, 2015
BEAUTY+BEAST w/ Gullah folklore. Family secrets. Haunted marshes. Breaking 16yo George’s curse will take more than true love’s kiss. #PitMad
This pitch is a good twist on a classic tale. Taking a good Comp (See my series about Comps) or a common story and turning on its head is smart way to attract attention. It has a nice hook at the end. One negative about this pitch is that it didn’t include a genre.
Eliza can handle moonshine, vicious gossip, and her hound dog brother. She’s not so sure she can handle being an outlaw’s wife. #Pitmad #WF
In a single tweet she expresses her voice as a writer, rounds out the main character and adds a dilemma worth dwelling on. On top of that she includes a fun secondary character (hound dog brother). Fantastic pitch, one of my personal favorites.
#YA UNSPOKEN meets FROZEN: Lacey’s icy magic becomes a liability when rivals plot to grab her family’s territory & gothic estate. #pitmad
This pitch used excellent Comps to set the scene. The stakes are high and the combination of Icy Magic and Gothic Estate promises an interesting setting. Intriguing.
#pitmad #CR While id’ing snakes in rural Louisiana, a naturalist finds death threats, a potential reward, and a second chance at first love.
Now I have to admit that I didn’t know what id’ing snakes meant when I read it, but it sounded authentic and made me curious. (It means Identifying. I might suggest using ID’ing instead). Regardless, the stakes are high, the setting is interesting and the pitch works.
WHERE’D YOU GO BERNADETTE/THE HUSBAND’S SECRET: a runaway teacher’s tragedy is unearthed by a lost student who tries to find her #Pitmad #A
Great title, high stakes, character potential.
Grace can fix cars but broken hearts? Not so much. What happens when she gets under the hood of the hottest actor in Hollywood? #R/E #PitMad
Another favorite for me. This is a great main character pitch. The writer’s voice comes across and the situation leaves you wanting more.
On the verge of an arranged marriage, 17yo girl is sent a package: her dead mother’s diary. Now everything’s changed. #PitMad #LF #YA
This pitch makes great use of a MacGuffin (the Dead Mother’s Diary). It is unique in that the pitch focuses on what you might expect to be the first plot point instead of the standard dilemma. Tricky approach for a tweet, but effective.
A mystery writer must give up her footy pajamas, solve a murder, deal with the ghost in her old trunk and, oh yeah, stay alive. #pitmad #A
And, oh yeah, added the stakes at the end of this fun character driven story. I loved this pitch, but would have loved it more if I knew it was a Thriller or a Mystery. It just needed a #T or #M to make it complete. Still, great pitch.
After almost killing her best friend, Mara must flee Shadow’s Edge and control her magic or risk becoming a deadly Nightshade #PitMad #YA
This pitch captures the potential transformation of a Main Character. Like Etaf’s pitch above this is difficult to do in a few words, but can be powerful. The writer shows story potential by demonstrating the risk of her Main Character’s transformation. Well done.
Reading through these and other examples I took away a number of lessons about writing a solid twitter format pitch:
- Put the main character front and center. Who’s story is this anyway? Let the reader know either a name or attribute (or both) of this MC. We all want someone to root for.
- Main Characters eat steak. No, wait, Main Characters face stakes! If nothing else write about your main character and the stakes they face on their journey. There must be a risk or loss at stake, or the events of the book won’t matter to the reader.
- Key superlatives can give a pitch life. Footy pajamas, the hound dog brother, icy magic each helped me as a reader grasp the potential for the characters and the world. Try to be more specific, not less, to set your pitch apart.
- Get you key hashtags in first and work to a shorter character count. Don’t drop a genre hashtag to get in one more word. Make it work.
- What other lessons did you learn from this group of pitches? Please leave comments below.
Now that we have learned the basics (Part I) and have seen some examples (Part II) come back tomorrow to learn some technical tips and tricks that will help your Twitter Pitch shine.