Manuscripts, Updates, Writing Process
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#SFFPit and #NLpitchperfect: My Twitter Pitch Party Experience

I took Bree Ogden’s query class on LitReactor last year. Yes. I took a class. And yes, I know I am a total geek. But I’m glad I did, because that’s where I learned about Twitter pitch parties. I’d deleted my Twitter account a long time ago, but after that class, I decided to restart one. Bree also critiqued our Twitter queries which was a nice bonus.

Fast forward a year later, my manuscript was ready-to-go. I started compiling a list of agents and discovered New Leaf Literary was holding a two-hour pitch event on Twitter the next day. And while I thought I knew what it would be like, it turned out that I DIDN’T KNOW AT ALL. Because right when the clock chimed 1pm, FOUR THOUSAND TWEETS appeared across my screen. Okay, maybe not four thousand, but I remember sitting in front of my laptop with my mouth open and fingers frozen. The event only lasted two hours, but daaamn…I think that was the first time I realized just how many of us there are.

Didn’t get a favorite. I was a sad panda for a few hours but I survived. Turned out New Leaf was looking for manuscripts with a different vibe from mine anyway. There were no mass murdering, genocide committing protagonists in the tweets they favorited.

By the way, here’s a recent tweet by @LeanaBrooks that I really liked:

“Not every agent will love what you write. Shrug your shoulders and realize they aren’t the right fit for you. Move on”

WISE. SO WISE. It’s a good life lesson too.

When I found out @DanKoboldt was organizing #SFFPit, I marked it on my calendar. This blog post by Diana Urban was my bible, and I followed her instructions like I was going to be graded on it.

  1. Used Hootsuite
  2. Scheduled tweets at every thirty minutes
  3. Spaced tweets out at weird times
  4. Varied my pitches
  5. Followed her recommended format

I did only one additional thing: I STAYED FLEXIBLE. I may have scheduled my tweets the day before, but I left a few openings for me to take advantage of DURING the party. About two or three hours into the madness, you know exactly which agents are participating and more importantly, THE KINDS OF PITCHES they like. Working in publicity has taught me that you can (and should!) pitch a manuscript several different ways by tailoring it to your recipient.

“…be a doer, not a dreamer. Maybe you know exactly what it is you dream of being, or maybe you’re paralyzed because you have no idea what your passion is. The truth is, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to know. You just have to keep moving forward.”—Shonda Rhimes, Commencement Address

There are things you can control and things you cannot. What I did was a long shot, but it paid off, because a last-minute tweet was favorited by one of my top picks.

The odds of signing a contract after a Twitter pitch party is damn low but getting favorited gets me closer to my goal. It’s been a long time since I’ve thought like a publicist, but if that’s who I need to be right now to succeed, then I will dust off that part of my brain so I can BE A DOER. ROOOAR!

Source: Image by Nick Harris (cc)

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