Earlier this year, the coolest thing happened…I signed with my literary agent! As of April 2019, I am now represented by Tia Mele at Talcott Notch Literary.
This all came about because of a Twitter pitch event. In 2018, I was querying a manuscript that eventually got me signed with my agent. I used traditional, email queries – a classic, effective strategy and honestly the way I thought I’d end up finding an agent – but I also participated in Twitter pitch events whenever I saw that one was happening.
In October 2018, I participated in #DVpit’s event. If you don’t know #DVpit, it was created by the amazing Beth Phelan as a way to get marginalized author’s voices a more visible platform in the publishing industry. (Here’s just one example of why that’s needed.)
When I started participating in Twitter pitch events, I wasn’t sure how to format an effective tweet, so I studied pitch hashtag feeds to get an idea of how other writers formatted the tweets I found most engaging.
I found some patterns in how effective pitch tweets were worded, and I used a couple of formats that I liked in a few pitch days. But I settled on one format for #DVpit. For an example of how I formatted the tweet, I’ll use Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as my pitch book.
My pitch tweet read something like this:
Hopeless romantic discovers the five love letters she wrote in secret were mistakenly sent to the boys she addressed them to. To keep others off her back, she pretends to date one letter recipient & is surprised when unexpected feelings complicate the arrangement.
I started with an overall description of my main character (“hopeless romantic”), then described the central conflict (“discovers the five love letters…”), then had one more sentence where I described what she does about this conflict (“she pretends to date…”), and I gave a clue to the unexpected twist/drama that occurred as a result (she “is surprised when unexpected feelings…”).
With careful wording, I managed this within Twitter’s limits and had space left at the end to include my relevant pitch hashtags so that agents could find my tweet. I tested the example above in my tweet drafts, and I had 16 characters remaining for hashtags.
So that’s what I did – except it was my manuscript instead of Jenny Han’s book I was pitching. And then I waited several months until I found that this tweet eventually led to an offer of representation!
If you’re participating in Twitter pitch events, maybe something along the lines of that tweet format will work for you. Or maybe something else will be better. Everything is subjective, and you should do you!
If you are going to try Twitter pitching, though, I’d say to try not to get distracted by the super flashy tweets that get 100+ likes and retweets. It’s easy to get intimidated by that if it’s not your own tweet (and if it is, seriously, congratulations to you), but don’t get disheartened. My best tweet got 5 likes, and it still led to a couple full manuscript requests, and one fantastic agent who loved my book at the end of it.
Anyway, that’s how it worked out for me. I’m wishing the best for you, wherever you are in your journey!