Aspiring authors are likely familiar with the concept of an online pitch event. There are numerous ones throughout the year: #Pitmad, #Pitchmas, #SFFPit, #WritePit, #Pit2Pub, etc.
These events are designed for people who are seeking representation, a publishing contract, or both. They offer the opportunity for authors to submit short pitches and queries on social media platforms, mostly Twitter, and/or blogs and for them to be seen by established publishers and agents who are frantically digging to uncover the latest, greatest, MS!
Here are some things to do before the pitch event:
- Workshop your pitch. If it’s a twitter event you’re going to need to shrink your entire synopsis down to around 120 characters (allowing for hashtags, etc.)
- Give yourself options. Have more than one pitch about the same book (3 is a good number) so you can share them all throughout the event. This industry is subjective, one pitch might not grab someone but maybe your second one will!
- Finish your novel. This should be a given! Don’t pitch unfinished works, it causes publishers and agents to swear at their computer screens.
- Make sure you understand the rules. Every pitch event comes with guidelines, make sure you know what they are.
Despite the title of this blog post, there are very few ‘cons’. Although, to give you some perspective from the publisher’s side of the world … pitch events bring in a massive amount of queries. But not only from pitches we’ve requested to see but from everybody on social media who sees that you’re interested in receiving submissions. This massive influx of submissions means we get to spend a great deal of time going through queries and deciding which ones are the absolute best of the best that we’d like to see more of.
Now consider this, had you submitted at a time when a pitch event was not going on, there’s a better chance your query would be closer to the top of the pile as it isn’t flowing through our inbox along with so many other queries. I’m not saying don’t take part in pitch contests, I’m saying make sure your query and sample are the absolute best it can be before submitting.
Now you’re legitimately nervous, here’s why you should take part in absolutely every pitch event you can:
- It costs you absolutely nothing!
- They’re great places to network and connect with agents and publishers on a personal level.
- No other venue gives you the opportunity to get immediate feedback on your query
- If you’re new to pitching your work, an online pitch event is a great place to start.
- Any single pitch event could be the break you’re waiting for!
That manuscript isn’t going to sell itself, now get out there and pitch!!