Just what is a Twitter pitch party?
On a designated day, writers are to compose a story pitch in less than 140 characters and Tweet it with the appropriate hashtags. Publishers and agents scan the feed for pitches that catch their attention and pressing the “heart” button. That indicates they want a query from you.
Each Twitter pitch event has its own set of rules and hashtags:
- How often a pitch may be posted
- Hashtags for the event and for specific genres
- How writers can show one another support
A recent Twitter pitch event garnered over 1000 Tweets an hour. That’s a lot of pitches! How does one stand out? What can writers do to make the best impression possible and follow all the proper steps?
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the experience:
- Compose a solid pitch. It’s difficult to sum up an entire story in one line, but not impossible. Loglines have to be basic. (Think of the taglines from movies.) What’s the key plot element? Who is the main character? Aim for 120 characters to allow room for the hashtags.
- Add some personality to your pitch. A little humor or quirkiness does stand out.
- Test your pitch on other writers first.
- Be sure your story fits the event. Some Twitter pitches are gear towards specific genres.
- Use the proper hashtags. You’ll want to use the event’s hashtag AND a genre hashtag. It also helps to add the age hashtag. (Examples - #F = fantasy, #PR = Paranormal Romance, #A = adult, #YA = young adult.)
- Consider your genre/age options. During most pitch events, #YA is the most popular age/genre. But we know that YA does not comprise half of the books published every year. Think outside the box and pitch a genre/age that will stand out rather than blend in.
- Don’t pitch more often than allowed or you will get banned. In addition, only publishers and agents are to “heart” pitches.
- If your pitch receives a “heart,” go to that publisher/agent’s site and review the submission guidelines. Be sure to mention the pitch event in your query. But just because you were invited to submit doesn’t mean you can ignore their submission requirements - send everything they request and ONLY what they request. No need to shoot yourself in the foot when you just got it in the door.
- Be sure to research that publisher/agent BEFORE you send your query. Don’t waste that person’s time. The publisher/agent won’t remember that you didn’t send a “hearted” query, but he or she will remember that you sent one and then later withdrew it.
- Once the event ends, analyze your results. If you received no “hearts” it might be time to adjust your pitch. Of course, with thousands of pitches filling the feed, it’s also possible it got lost in the shuffle. Adjust and try again at the next event.
Many authors have found homes for their books through Twitter pitches. It’s a great way to test the waters and get the attention of a publisher or agent. Don’t rely on them solely though - you still need to be querying with a proper query letter. Just give it a try and have fun.
Various Twitter pitch events:
Have you ever participated in a Twitter pitch event?