Recently, I participated in my first-ever Twitter pitch party. A pitch party is a writer’s opportunity to pitch their completed work in 140 characters or less using a hashtag watched by interested agents and editors for a window of time. If an editor/agent “favorites” your Tweet, it is an invitation to submit. No one else is supposed to “favorite,” since that would be a pretty dirty trick to get someone all excited that an agent/editor wants to see their manuscript just to discover you are also just a wannabe author living on diet soda and broken dreams.
My first hurdle: getting past my anxiety. By far the hardest thing about this getting published business is putting myself out there over and over again just to be ignored or rejected. It’s a little too much like junior high dances all over again. Gag me with a spoon. But, every rejection stings a little less and so I decided to take the plunge.
Next, you have to craft an enticing blurb about your book that is significantly less than 140 characters. I say “significantly less” because you have to leave room for hashtags as well: the event hashtag, your genre hashtag and your audience hashtag. That takes up a lot of Twitter real estate, so you have to be clever and concise. It is also recommended that you write several different blurbs to remain fresh and increase your chances of catching the eye of a variety of people.
Then, you have to make sure you follow the rules. Agents, editors and event hosts are watching and it wouldn’t make sense to annoy them all by committing Twitter pitch party faux pas. I’m not talking about wearing the same dress as another guest or double dipping a taco chip – I’m talking about tweet frequency. It is very bad manners to clog the feed by over-pitching your pitch. This particular event had a rule of no more than two tweets per hour. I set a timer. Yes, I’m a nerd like that.
So, armed with courage, blurbs and a timer, I invited myself to the party. (Please note: I did not wear an actual dress, but taco chips may have been consumed.)
What was it like? Really, it was a lot like a junior high dance. I followed the feed
obsessively frequently throughout the day and saw some pitches I was like, “OMG. She’s, like, totally awesome! I want to be just like her!” and some that I secretly thought,, “Grody to the max!” I retweeted pitches I really liked to show solidarity, and some people retweeted mine. I followed new folks and they followed me. I mingled. I schmoozed. I tried to look totally rad.
But, the big question, as it is at all junior high dances, is, “Did anyone ask you to dance?”
And the answer is…yes! I got two invitations to submit. I checked their submission requirements, formatted my materials as requested, tailored my pitch and now…we just wait to see if we’ll go all the way. (Ew…did I take the metaphor too far? Too far. Sorry.)
I also got some new followers and made some new pals who are also writers which is very exciting as well.
Does a Twitter pitch party sound like fun to you?
Update: This is the party that never ends, folks! I checked my social media this morning and found another “favorite” from a literary agent. Woohoo! Do I feel like the belle of the ball, or what?!? (I feel like the belle. Definitely the belle.)