In 140 Characters or Less : #PitchingOnTwitter
Part III: 10 Tips to help your Twitter Pitch rise above the noise.
This post is the third in a three part series about pitching your book on Twitter. You can see Part I and Part II here.
We’ve been through the basics and have looked at a few pitches that worked. Now we need to stack the odds in our favor. Participating in #PitMad is exactly what it sounds like, Pitch Madness. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of aspiring writers who participate in each of these events. Writers assemble from every genre, level of experience and part of the world to participate. There are thousands of tweets generated with this hashtag in the course of a single day.
Let’s take a moment, to bend a knee and say a resounding Thank You to Brenda Drake and the other Agents, Editors and Publishing Industry professionals who organize and participate in these events. It takes a tremendous amount of work to pull these events off. I personally appreciate that #PitMad is one of the most democratic and potentially diverse pitching events of the year. There is very little cost to participate (you just need access to a computer or smartphone and a twitter account). In many ways the event is blind, which is a wonderful attribute for the publishing industry.
But, let’s be honest, it is also a scrum. Everyone participating is throwing out a pitch in a loud noisy room full of other writers. We are all trying to get the attention of the Agents and Editors any way we can. So how do you rise about the noise? Here are a few tips for putting your best foot forward in #PitMad or any other Twitter Pitching contest.
- Write a great pitch. Don’t skimp on this step. Writer’s write, that is what makes us writers. Keep working on that great pitch until you know you have soaked everything you can out of those 140 characters, then rewrite it and try again.
- Rewrite a great pitch. It will take many drafts to get something that truly hangs together.
- Write a second great pitch. It is good to have a few different pitches all for the same book. You might want to try one that focuses on the first plot point, or create a cliffhanger in one pitch and develop your main character further in your second. Write a few and listen for words that sing.
- Hashtags matter. Make sure you know which hashtags are best for you and add them consistently. Get the genre and age group right to help Agents and Editors find something they want to represent.
- Schedule your pitches throughout the day. If you can’t sit at your computer all day and watch the crawl of pitches use Hootsuite or TweetDeck and set up a schedule. Pitch at least three times (morning, midday, afternoon) to get in front of the various folks who will be looking at different times. *** UPDATE – Some contests have changed their rules about the number of times you can tweet out your pitch. Make sure you check the rules BEFORE you tweet. ***
- Read other pitches. If you see something that sounds great, retweet it. After #PitMad it is fun to connect with other writers who have also participated to recap and pat each other on the back. (If you didn’t read Part II of this series, go back to see some great examples)
- Take note of the Agents and Editors who are participating. If you get tapped by one of them be sure to do your research about what they represent before submitting.
- Follow the rules. Please use the rules the organizers have set up so everyone has the best shot at getting attention. Be polite and gracious. Everyone is taking their own time make the most of this event.
- Have fun with it. While it can be stressful, these are great moments to participate in a larger writing community. Meet some new writers. Find your tribe.
- Celebrate your success. Even if no one responded to your pitch, you put yourself out there. Every time you share your work consider it an achievement. In general, pitching is really hard. Pitching on twitter is 140 characters hard is extremely hard. You did it, and you’ve grown from the experience. Take the lessons you’ve learned and keep writing.
I hope you have a great experience at #PitMad or any other twitter type pitch contest you participate in. Good luck, and share your experiences here at http://www.novelpitch.com!
Remember, it is all about writers helping writers.