Time to get ready for the upcoming Twitter pitch contest on September 9th, 2014, #PitMad!
#PitMad is where unpublished and unagented writers condense their novel into 140 characters (including hashtags, so really 120ish characters) and tweet their pitches from 8AM EST to 8PM EST. (Consensus for how often you should tweet is twice per hour.)
If an agent or publisher wants you to submit they will favorite your tweet.
If you want to show support to your friends on Twitter or just any good pitches simply retweet that pitch.
Now for me, it’ll be 5AM when this thing starts and I won’t be available to be tweeting through the day, so if you’re like me there’s a Twitter app called, TweetDeck, which allows you to schedule tweets ahead of time and be posted when you want them to.
For more information regarding #PitMad, check out: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/
It’s pretty difficult to sum up a novel in a paragraph, let alone 140 characters so we’ll go over a few suggestions.
First: Have a template:
I used a few different sites when I first started writing query letters. My favorite has been this one: http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx
They give tips on condensing your book into a short paragraph, or “the hook”, and while that’s certainly longer than a tweet, the same basic formula of “when”, “who”, and “then” works wonders. I’ve used it in setting up about half of my PitMad tweets.
Second: Focus on what’s important:
Descriptive words are great, but they take precious character space. If you have a nice tagline for your novel but you are over by a few characters, take out the unnecessary adjective.
In fact, get rid of as much fluff as you can to give more specific, non-generic information. Show the world what makes your book unique.
Third: Different, but connected, pitches.
When somebody asks me to tell them about my books, I hesitate because I’m thinking of all the different things to tell them and I don’t want to leave anything out that really contributes to the overall story.
Since you can pitch 24 times with PitMad, I would suggest different pitches to highlight different, major qualities of your story.
For example, write a pitch two-thirds about the story and one-third of the protagonist, then later write a pitch two-thirds about the protagonist and one-third antagonist.
That way you’re not just rephrasing the same pitch over and over, but slipping in a little new information every time. An agent might see one of your pitches initially and not be interested, but then read a different one for the same book and ask for a sample!
Just make sure not to deviate far from the central theme/focus of your book. Keep common elements in all your pitches.
There have been quite a few success stories from this event. Here’s one that also includes bonus tips and a deeper explanation of the event: http://diana-urban.com/how-pitmad-helped-me-get-a-literary-agent-and-tips-for-the-next-one
Good luck everyone!