It’s two days before the Fall 2021 #PitMad event, so here’s my advice:
1 – Write good pitches (easier said than done)
2 – Engage with other authors by Quote Retweeting, Commenting, or Retweeting their pitches. DO NOT LIKE THE TWEETS. Don’t be that person who gives someone false hope by liking, which is how agents indicate interest.
3 – FOLLOW THE AUTHORS!!
Why is that third one so important? Because it’s the best way to make #PitMad a success for you.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get an agent like. I hate to be Debbie Downer about it, but it’s just true. A lot of agents are too busy to sit around reading Twitter for hours on end, even on #PitMad days. And if they are on Twitter all day, there are thousands of tweets going out. They know what they’re looking for, so they’re going to search for specific combinations of hashtags. I write adult scifi, so I’ll be seen by most agents who search “#PitMad #A #SFF” and the number of retweets and comments will have little to no impact on where I show up in those results. Many of them use TweetDeck so they can have multiple searches going at once and filter out retweets.
Yep, that’s right, agents can filter out retweets. They can actually filter out a lot of the noise created by the things I mention in step 2 above. That’s why I think step 3 is the most important part.
With every pitch contest I’ve done, I’ve gained followers. The #WritingCommunity is great about following back, so I’d say for every 2 people I follow, I’m almost guaranteed to gain at least one new follower. This may sound like a shallow win, but the greatest thing about the Twitter #WritingCommunity is how supportive it is, and how much knowledge you can gain from it, so gaining access to more people is good.
So sure, maybe you pull your hair out writing three pitches and you get one like (YAY!!) but it’s from a vanity press (sad trombone.) You haven’t wasted your time. First of all, you’ve honed your pitches, and that shit is useful. You’ve also built out your platform and your community, so between now and the next #PitMad you might learn enough to write a query that works, hone your first pages, and do all the other stuff you need to have in place for a #PitMad agent like to come to any kind of fruition. Because a winning pitch means nothing if your writing sucks.
“But Esmari,” you say, “aren’t you building a list for #PitMad?!? I keep seeing that Patrick dude tag you in retweet list posts!”
Yes and no. I’m adding to my #TraditionalPublishing list, which includes agented and unagented authors somewhere on the traditional publishing journey (indie, big 5, I don’t care as long as it’s not vanity publishing or scammers.) It’s one of the feeds in my TweetDeck setup and I will be Quote Retweeting, Commenting, or Retweeting a lot of the pitches I see in that feed. (Please note I did not say all pitches, I’m only human and there are hundreds of people on my list.)
My big focus, though, will be looking for people who are not already on my list. Why? Because the wider my circle, the more I learn, the more I can teach. And that is how I will consider #PitMad a success every time I do one from here on out.
But I’m still gonna be super stoked if I get an agent like.