Lately I’ve been running some workshops for my writers’ groups, speaking about effective Twitter use for authors. My classes have ranged from the basics to more advanced. The most helpful news to my audience, however, has been about Twitter pitch parties.
For those of you who don’t know, a Twitter pitch party is when literary agents, and publishing house editors, check a particular Twitter hashtag on a certain date (I’ll explain that in a minute), in order to search out new manuscripts. This is an effective way for agents and editor to scan the “Twitterverse” for potential acquisitions.
Twitter pitch parties are an equally effective tool for writers who want to publish their manuscript. Each particular pitch party day will have it’s own rules (again, I’ll explain in a minute), but all pitch parties work the same—an author has got up to 140 characters to tweet their manuscript’s tag line. (By the way, a “tag line” is a one-sentence catchy summation of the story, meant to draw the reader in.)
Twitter pitch parties happen periodically. To know when they happen, I check Twitter. (Duh, right???) I check to see if there are any trending hashtags with the word “pit” somewhere in it. If so, I hop on to that hashtag to see if a pitch party is underway. That said, not every Twitter party contains the word “pit.” Some use “pitch,” and some use something else entirely (ie. the Knight Agency, which runs its own pitch party, uses a hashtag that begins with #TKA).
If you’re the organized type of personality, who likes to prepare in advance, check out this link, which provides a great calendar for pitch parties: http://micascottikole.com/events/ This link is also great for upcoming writing contests, too. Bookmark this page, because it’s great.
Once you know that a Twitter pitch party is happening, check out who is hosting (either through the link I gave you above, or by simply checking out the Twitter feed for that hashtag, which will make the host’s identity readily apparent). Once you have the host’s information, you should check out the party’s rules. The rules spell out: the hours for the party, how many times in a day an author can tweet their pitch, the hashtags that each author’s tweet must include, and the types of manuscripts that are allowed.
You should only participate in a Twitter pitch party that allows your type of manuscript. You’ll need to read each party’s rules to be sure. Some parties, like #PitMad, are pretty all-inclusive (although a lot of all-inclusive pitch parties may leave out erotica). Some pitch parties, however, will be very limited. #DVpit, for instance, only applies to manuscripts with diverse characters &/or authors who are diverse.
An important note: most (if not all) of these parties require the manuscript to be completely finished, highly polished, and never before published (usually, this includes manuscripts that have been previously self-published).
Whichever parties you’ve selected, here are some examples of hashtags to include. That being said—be sure to check the rules. Each party host can change around the rules for any of these hashtags.
1. the Twitter party’s hashtag is mandatory (or your tweet won’t show up in the party’s feed). Examples of Twitter party hashtags are: #PitMad, #TKA17, #PitchMas, #SFFPit, #PitDark, and #DVpit. These party hashtags are typically included at the end of a tweet-pitch, although it can be included at the very beginning of the tweet.
2. the hashtag age-range for the book, such as: children (#C), children picture book (#CP), middle grade (#MG), young adult (#YA), new adult (#NA), which is applicable for protagonists who are either college-age or recent college grads, and adult (#A).
3. the hashtag for the genre: romance (#R), Scifi (#SF) SciFi/fantasy (#SFF), fantasy (#F), horror (#H), suspense (#S), thriller (#T). There are many more!
Okay, so you’re now ready to pitch! Here are some upcoming Twitter pitch parties to attend (party hats optional):
May 18, 2017: #PitDark http://jasonhuebinger.com/pitdark/
June 7, 2017: #pg70pit https://larawillard.com/70pit/
June 8, 2017: #PitMad http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/
June 22, 2017: #SFFpit http://dankoboldt.com/sffpit/
Good luck, partygoers! May the tweets be with you!!!!
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