Twitter pitch parties are a fantastic way to get your work seen by as many agents and publishers as possible- well in theory.
Assuming you can condense two years of work, 85 thousand words, a little sweat, keyboard blisters and a river of tears into 140 characters, you then have to watch that feed. With only 3 pitches in 12 hours, post it wrong and you’ll be at the bottom of the feed before anyone worth worrying about see’s your hard polished pitch.
So you ignore your scheduled ‘tweetdeck’ pitches, and sit in front of the screen waiting for an agent to say they’re looking at the feed. You copy and paste, and then you wait, pray, cry a little and bitch at the pitches who have <3, ’cause we all know ours is better (dammit it better be).
When eleven hours in you haven’t had so much as a reply let alone a little love heart (dammit i miss getting my friends to RT) you’re ready to throw in the towel, and pitch that damn book into the recycle bin (see what I did there 😉 ). For some reason though the masochist in us never does give in, I think in some small way even the slap of rejection is a small pleasure, at least we tried.
The the ping of a phone, a new email, or the relentless refreshing of the notification page, tells us someone, somewhere has “liked” ( Twitter let it be noted i prefer “favourited”) our pitch. The skeptic in us then curses the idiot that didn’t read the rules and hits the button because they think it sounds cool. Only its not an idiot (well not always) it’s an actual person that has a tiny bio listing “agent” or “publisher”. Our hearts sing for joy and we praise the gods that our genius has been noticed. That query is composed, attachments added and sent off into cyber world the second we read the submission guidelines.
The problem is we probably should have read up on that little name a bit more. Is it a genuine agent? A publisher that thinks page 500 page listings on Amazon eBooks are the way to go? A vanity press? The fact that someone, anyone actually wants to read our work sweeps us away. Its all too easy to be smart after we get burnt being dumb.
Some of us know better, some of us will learn better when we get our fingers singed, and some of us (very sadly) submit just to see if our work sucks so badly even a vanity would reject it.
There has to be upsides too though right (other than being liked and signed by the best agent in the world if your that lucky (no i don’t want to hear about it if ‘ you, i’m bitter)), and of course there is.
When it’s all over, don’t just move on to the next pitch party, forgetting the one you worked hard on. Take a few minutes, check out the feed, follow writers you like the sound of, make friends, maybe find a new beta, but best of all see which agents were watching (if they announced they were), find the ones who liked similar work to yours. Convince yourself they just missed yours, and (after your research) check their sub guidelines and send it in. What have you got to lose? The nail in the wall with your reject letters will fill faster taking you closer to that acceptance.
The way i see it, even the pitfalls… aren’t. We might not get what we hoped for, we might learn a valuable lesson, or just make a new friend. We will get something out of it.