Hey Ladies and Gents,
How’s it going? Good I hope. The Entranced Publishing team had so much fun with their Friday Frenzy twitter pitch contests last week they’re back again doing it this Friday, with a Sexy Saturday special pitch party coming up in the near future (stay tuned!).
For those of you trying to work out how best to catch the editor or agent of your dreams’ attention, some of the top Entranced Publishing authors have been lovely enough to share their tips. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure:
I saw quite a few agents/editors admonish the ‘listing aspects of your MS’ technique during #pitmad. So, my top piece of advice would be to make sure there’s some sense of the story in your pitch. If you can, try and put your main characters and conflict in there. I know it’s really hard to cram your 50,000 word novel into 140 characters so I wanted to break it down and show you how I did it.
Here’s a pitch I prepared earlier:
YA: If ruthless bitch Mae is going to be prom queen she must kill the rumors about her & geek boy Andrew before voting begins #FridayFrenzy.
Here’s the thing, Mae might have a boyfriend who dumps her during this story. Perhaps the rumors about her and Andrew aren’t rumors at all. Maybe Mae spends 8 months choosing the perfect prom dress only to have it ruined by a rogue, prom-queen-wannabe…these are all great facets to the story, but the fact is you can’t cram them all into 140 characters. Instead tell the agent/editor why this story is happening in the first place. What kicks the tale of Mae and Andrew off. I’ve dropped in buzz words like ‘ruthless’ ‘bitch’ and ‘kill’ to let the agent/editor know that morals aren’t going to stand in the way of Mae getting what she wants. I call Andrew a ‘geek boy’ in the hopes of introducing my writing voice. By not saying what said rumors are or how they got started I hope I can spike an agent/editors interest. These were just a few things I did to hone my pitch.
Oh, and make sure you have a couple of variations of your pitch. As some of you may already know, Twitter refuses to post two identical tweets.
1. K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple & Short. The longer the pitch or query letter the more likely you are to lose the editor’s interest. Editors are busy people. Make your point and move on!
2. Don’t start or end with a question. — I know, it seems like a good idea to start by throwing a cleverly worded question out there to get the editor thinking, but what happens if they say “no” to your questions? Or if it’s something they simply don’t care about? They’ll probably stop reading your query and that’s not good news for you. On the flip side, ending a query with a question is like a cliffhanger. Don’t do it.
3. Who are you again? Don’t forget to tell them who you are, how to contact you, and where they can find you on the web. (I seriously did this on my very first query. I sent the email with absolutely NO contact information or social media links. Needless to say I never heard back from them. Oops!)
-Kara Leigh Miller.
The best tip I’ve picked up along the way is to hashtag the genre of your book. It saves valuable characters in your pitch (“#YA” takes up much less space than “16 year old Jane”). Plus, it makes it easier for an agent/publisher who’s looking for a specific genre to find your pitch. If I were an agent/publisher looking at hundreds of queries streaming down my Twitter feed (seriously, look up #PitMad sometime and see how many tweets appear in any five minute period!), and I knew I wanted new YA manuscripts, I’d be scouring for those hashtags. Make it easy for your future agent/publisher to find you and your fabulous novel!
If any of you guys have anything to add feel free to leave a comment…