Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pitch Fest on Twitter

I just participated in another "pitch fest" on Twitter. For those who have never heard of such a thing, it's when writers get to "pitch" their book ideas to editors and/or agents who are participating. It's a great way to get an editor's/agent's attention, but it's also difficult. You have to be able to describe your book/idea in less than 140 characters, including spaces and hash tags. Let me tell you, there's not a lot of wiggle room for beating around the bush with your book description.

Let me show you what I'm talking about. Here is a paragraph from a cover letter for a story I wrote called The Reddle Badge. This paragraph describes the story. Sounds okay, doesn't it?

Long ago, Hardy Thomasin roamed the wild heaths of Wessex.” So begins my story, The Reddle Badge (word count – approx. 3900), which I have enclosed. In this adventure, Hardy comes face-to-face with the dreaded and feared “Reddleman” whom he befriends. Hardy is then a hero to all those who know him. The story is geared for children six to ten years of age. I have also included a page titled “Author’s Note,” which gives a brief explanation of the book’s topic and why I chose it.

Now, here's the same idea reduced to "Twitter" size:

MG - Hardy Thomasin comes face to face with the much-feared Reddleman & lives to tell about it. THE REDDLE BADGE

With the hash tag (which I deleted from this sample), I used 120 of my allotted 140 characters. That's quite a bit different, now isn't it? The "MG" stands for "middle grade."

I pitched several of my stories, but I didn't get any nibbles. There were literally hundreds of pitches (probably over 1000) made during the pitch fest which ran for 12 hours. I'm disappointed, but not too surprised that none of my entries were chosen.

Not to be discouraged, I will keep sending out my manuscripts to editors and agents, and keep honing my "Twitter pitches" in case an opportunity like this comes around again soon.

Wish me luck!

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