You have 280 characters to pitch your manuscript. Ready...go!
After writing an entire book you'd think writing a quick 280 character snippet would be easy, right? But how do you condense your amazing book into only one or two attention-grabbing sentences? I totally get it...been there, done that. In fact, my Mission Hollywood romance series was picked up though a Pitch Party.
I'd like to share a few tips and tricks I learned from doing Twitter pitch parties. This is just my experience so take what works for you & ignore what doesn't.
1) Character & conflict. Who is your story about and what is the central conflict? In 280 characters, you won't have space to give us backstory, world building, side plots or side characters. Focus on your main character, or characters, and the central conflict. You want a hook that makes the pitch reader want to know more. This isn't a synopsis, it's a sales pitch.
2) Age & genre tags. Don't forget the age and genre tags. Read that again...don't skip the tags to add a few more characters to your pitch. Many of the industry pros searching the feed will be searching by these tags. If you have written a YA book but you leave out #YA, it might get missed. The feed is jam packed with pitches and it goes by really fast. Also, this should go without saying, use the correct tag. Don't add tags that don't fit your book in an attempt to get noticed. No-no.
3) Structure. Make your pitch easy to read. One long, run-on sentence in one big block of text, can be difficult to read. Don't be afraid of white space, and don't feel obligated to use all 280 characters.
4) Comps. Comparable books are often used in publishing. It is a short hand way of showing where your book would be shelved in a bookstore. You can include comps in your pitch to show genre and draw parallels to your book. Most of the time you will see comps written like this : SIX OF CROWS x HARRY POTTER. Another option is something like this: JANE EYRE with dragons (which, by the way, is something I would totally read). Comps are not required in your pitch, but can be a helpful addition.
5) Be professional. If you are pitching a book for publication, you are entering the world of professional writers. Act like one. Treat your fellow writers and industry professionals with respect. I promise you, we all notice bad behavior.
6) Join the community. Twitter pitch parties are a great opportunity to network. Your pitch might not get any likes, but you might make new writer friends, find critique partners, or form connections. When you are published, these connections can help with finding blurbs, endorsements, and cross promotions. If you see a pitch you like, go ahead and show some support (follow the rules though...comment or retweet, whatever is allowed). You won't lose anything by supporting your fellow writers.
7) Do your research! If you get a like from an industry professional in a pitch party, you should definitely celebrate. But before you send your manuscript off, do your research. Can I say that again? DO YOUR RESEARCH. Who is this agent? Who is this publisher? Check out their website. Unfortunately, there re some unscrupulous people out in the big, wide world. You worked hard on your book, you owe it to yourself to research anyone who wants to look at it.
So what do you think? If I missed any questions you might have about Twitter pitch parties, drop them in the comments.
Good luck & write on!