Tutorials, writing life

HOW TO SUCCEED AT TWITTER PITCH PARTIES

THIS IS A LIST OF THINGS YOU SHOULD TOTALLY FOR REAL ABSOLUTELY DO IN ORDER TO GET A TON OF AGENT REQUESTS DURING TWITTER PITCH PARTIES. I’VE DONE MANY PITCH PARTIES OF VARIOUS SIZES AND RECEIVED AGENT REQUESTS. SO SERIOUSLY. DO ALL OF THESE THINGS. LIKE, ALL OF THEM. EXACTLY AS THEY’RE WRITTEN.*

1. Hang all of your hopes and dreams for your book on this pitch party.

If an agent doesn’t request your manuscript, it’s all over. Done. Wasted. There’s no hope. This is the only way to query an agent: by getting a heart on your tweet pitch. There’s definitely no OTHER way to query agents, and pitching in an event like this definitely doesn’t actually add a step to the very short and easy query process.

2. Create a Twitter account specifically for pitching. (And don’t use it until pitching day.)

You definitely want agents to look at your account, then immediately dismiss it as not being real, or as it not being a developed platform. Agents love writers with no online presence. Also, having just gotten onto a new social media platform and having little to no experience on said social media platform definitely doesn’t mean you’ll have no idea how to leverage its unique features for a complex interactive situation (like a pitch party).

3. Don’t engage in any pre-pitch-day online interaction.

The more people interact with your account, the more visible your tweets get. Wouldn’t want to increase your tweet visibility before the big day! And, it would be awful to make any new writer friends along the way who might end up being your best source of encouragement, future beta readers, and cheerleaders, or accidentally grow your follower count.

4. Don’t look at examples of pitches that have been successful in the past.

You don’t want a formulaic success–where’s the fun in that? Invent a new kind of tweet pitch that breaks all the contest ground rules, goes against all available advice, and that only the really intelligent agents will understand.

5. Don’t get feedback on your pitches or revise them.

I’m sure they’re great and totally clear and catchy! I mean, how hard could it be to hook an agent scrolling thousands of pitches with 280 characters about a book that’s tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of words long?

6. Don’t use any of those pesky hashtags.

They take up too many of those 280 characters! If your pitch is good, agents will just be drawn to it psychically, no hashtags needed.

7. Don’t use comps.

Using comparable book or movie titles takes up space, too, and they give agents such a good idea of the tone of your manuscript right away, that those agents don’t have to work at figuring out what the book is like. No mystery, no intrigue, right?

8. Don’t pin your pitch to your profile.

It would be a shame if people could easily find and retweet or comment on your pitch. That might increase its visibility and help an agent see it easily. No one wants a ton of requests from the lazy agents who aren’t spending all day on Twitter, working hard to find those pitches while their email inboxes and query manager accounts overflow.

9. Don’t pitch as early in the day as possible.

You wouldn’t want to give your pitch time to generate comments, retweets, and rise in the hashtag visibility rankings (since you aren’t even using hashtags anyway). Most agent likes come in way after the pitching is mostly over anyway (and most agent likes definitely do not occur BEFORE LUNCH TIME, EASTERN STANDARD TIME) so you have plenty of time to tweet out that unedited, unhashtagged pitch.

10. Don’t spend any time online during the pitch day.

There’s nothing you can do to help your pitch once you tweet it. Interacting with other people, responding to and liking comments on your pitch, and swapping retweets or comments definitely doesn’t boost your visibility.

* Please do the opposite of these suggestions! I was possessed by a spirit of irony and this was WAY more fun than writing an actual helpful how-to. I’m open to chat about strategy and etc. via Twitter or comments on this post!! May the Force be with you, and your MS, and your tweets on The Big Day. ❤

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