So many people pitch in Twitter pitch events. So few people get agent or editor “likes”. It can be disappointing. It can really hit hard for some people. First of all, don’t let a lack of likes get you down! Because there are so many pitches, it’s possible yours wasn’t seen. Or it’s possible that agents were just too busy to browse. Pitch events are a nice way to skip the slush pile, but cold queries can achieve the same result. Actually, most people get their agent by querying the old-fashioned way!
Anyhoo, pitch events are still great to participate in. Regardless of “likes” for your pitches, you can still learn a lot from the event. Here are just a few ways you can benefit even without any likes!
You know all those other pitches that you see out there? Those were written by writers. Writers like you. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know them? If you see pitches that intrigue you, comment to tell the writer what you think! Follow them. If it’s a genre similar to yours, maybe you can offer to swap critiques with them.
2. See what’s being written
What ideas are popular at the event? What ideas pop out as unique? How does yours rate? Does yours stand out? Or is yours just another story about a little bear who makes a friend with a little mouse? I’m poking fun at myself here. I am working on a story with a bear and a mouse. Sounds ho-hum? Bear stories and mouse stories have been done a million times. But I have a really unique angle that makes the story stand out. Make sure that you have something that makes your story stand out and make sure you mention it in the pitch!!!
3. See what’s getting attention
When you search the event’s hashtag, scroll through the “Top” tweets. There will probably be a few tweets from agents or the event organizers that got a bunch of likes, but pretty soon you’ll start seeing what pitches have gotten a ton of comments, retweets, and likes. Take note of what topics have gotten attention. What buzz words are used that makes their pitch stand out? What unique characters or settings draw your attention?
4. Discover the agents’ tastes
While you’re browsing the top tweets, look to see who is liking them. This is one way to see which agents and editors are particpating. Check out each agent’s profile pages and see what other tweets they like. You might find that their tastes are far from anything you’re offering. Or you might find you’re the perfect fit!
To see who has liked a tweet, click on the tweet, then click on the button that tells how many likes it has.
To see all of the tweets a particular person has liked, go to their profile page and click the “Likes” tab.
5. Honing your pitch
Even if you get nothing else out of participating in a Twitter pitch event, just the act of crafting a pitch is going to help you. I often write a pitch as part of the revision process to focus in on the heart of the story. Every now and then, I craft the pitch when I’m in the brainstorming stage. It’s great to figure out if you’ve got a strong hook, a unique character, compelling stakes, etc.
Study the other pitches out there to help strengthen your own. Having a strong pitch is going to help you as you write your query.
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There you have it! Go out and learn. Work to improve. Keep putting yourself out there. Good luck!
Post originally published October 30, 2020