Oh yes, the quad-annual pitch party where writers meet on a battlefield and scream, “Pick me!” There’s strategy in some, blindly wandering the feed by others wondering what the hell they’ve gotten into, others who watch the action from the sidelines, picking their champions, and then the ocassional bard running rampant, slapping a heart on posts willy-nilly, even when we’ve all begged them not to.
The event is MAD. Some people take a day off work to participate. I wish that was me yesterday, but my boss was kind enough to let me frequently check my phone. And I learned some stuff yesterday. SERIOUS STUFF. I transitioned from blind wanderer to strategist. I received over a hundered RT’s in total and several “likes” from those non-agents. My personal favorite: I got a like from a lady whose profile read, “I like cats.”
Why thank you. I’m so glad you also LIKE the pitch I spent a week making.
Maybe it’s unintentional. Maybe.
No agent likes. Zip. Zero. Nada. I’m scrolling #PitMad top tweets, and by 9 am, someone has 150 RTs and 20 likes. I comment my praise to them, while simultaneously loathing my own pitch. So I make a new one on the spot, rescheduling for 1:27. I like this one better, so I pin it to my feed, regrettably trashing the one I started the day with.
I also noticed the top pitches have been RTing like mad. I’ve heard a great pitch gets the RTs, and they do, but I realized if you throw it out there then sit quietly, your odds of getting seen are slim. After chewing my lip, not wanting to bombard my faithful followers, I decide to RT anyway. The person whose tweet I RTd threw one back at me. Wellllll, I opened the flood gates after that. At this point in time, I’m unsure if this is a customary approach. I’d really like to know in the comments. However, it worked. 1 hour later, I had 45 retweets to my second pitch. And a like from cat-lady, AND an erotic books seller.
Twisting the tail of my braid, I wandered the store aisles, avoiding customers, face glued to my phone. I even walked into the wall at one point. I was a mess. The top pitches have 300 RTs at this point, 45 likes. Again, I tweet my congrats. Then pull my hair.
I want to be them! I workshopped my pitch with CPs. I have legitimate stakes! It’s good!
But its not great. I’ve seen those same stakes in hundreds of other pitches. The key to those top tweets: they are UNIQUE. I scrolled the #PitMad feed all day, and I haven’t seen anything like them. I’m not unique. My pitch STILL blends in. By 4pm, I’m desperate.
Leaning over the work counter, I jab my thumbs into my phone, angry typing, mumbling curses under my breath and growling like a threatened animal. You want unique? I’ll give you f#*@!ing unique. I pin my last (and best) tweet at 4-something p.m. Things have really slowed down on #Pitmad at this point, as everyone is burned out. I still get near 40 RTs and a few likes. No agents, but that’s okay! I’m re-reading my pitch over and over. This. Is. Good.
I take my pitch home that night and finish #PitMad on the couch. I show my husband (my strongest critic and supporter) my last pitch. His jaw dropped. He tells me that sounds great! This is huge. I usually receive a nose snarl. Now I’m sure my pitch is good.
I followed up with those top pitches, you know, the ones with 300 RTs and 75 likes…I was surprised to see that most of those likes were from cat-ladies. One of the top pitches received only THREE agent requests. And, by-crappy, they earned them. I trolled agent profiles. I didn’t find one who had liked more than four pitches all day. Four is still and astounding amount of work for them!
Some of us saw success. I did. Maybe not by way of landing an agent, but I ended the day with an awesome pitch, found some friends, traded first chapter critiques, and read about some awesome books.
The next #PitMad is in June. But there are so many other great pitch parties! #RevPit, #DvPit, #SffPit, #KidPit, #AdPit, #KissPit… the list goes on. If you want to up your chances of getting agent likes, here’s my ten cents, make of it what you will:
1. Participate in the #PracPit event a couple days before #PitMad. This is your chance to workshop your pitch, but you MUST critique other pitches as well. And I did notice a correlation between amount of critiques given in the #PracPit event and number of RTs on #PitMad day. Be real, leave legit advice. Don’t just say, “Sounds good!”
2. Tweet early and pin your best pitch to your profile. As you RT and interact throughout the day, people can easily click your profile and RT your pitch. Nobody is going to hunt for your pitch. Make it easy for them.
3. Follow people. RT. Send messages of encouragement, as that really goes a long way. It’s very stressful for others *cough like me cough*
4. Check out this awesome post I found from Rylann Watts about workshopping your pitch. It helped me a lot. It takes a bad pitch and turns it into a good pitch, and then into a GREAT pitch. Don’t skip this!
5. HAVE FUN. I know that sounds arbitrary, but I’m serious. You have to be able to see the silver-lining after #PitMad.
6. And for God’s sake, don’t be a cat-lady. Save the likes for agents only!!
This was my final pitch of the day: I’m pretty happy with it, but will most likely tweek it before June’s #PitMad.
What do you think about my pitch? Although I’m proud of it, it didn’t win an agent, so I’d love to hear your opinion. And tell me how your #PitMad went. What did you learn?