My Story: Thoughts on THE CALL, finding an agent and the pros and cons of Twitter pitch parties...
Well, it's never been a "call" for me, it's always been an email. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.
Having your good news in an email means that when you're not quite sure you weren't imagining it, you can read it again, and again, and probably again.( And, let's be totally honest, again, probably just after you've had a rejection!)
But it just goes to show you that everything about this funny old business of writin' authorin' and etc, is different for everyone.
Recently, I've noticed quite a few posts and videos around THE AGENT question.
(Here's a great post from Dee White about it if you're interested!) I've also been meaning to write a blog post on Twitter pitch parties. Since in my personal timeline these two things are connected, I thought it might be fun to put them together.
So first up- Pitch Parties.
#PitMad #DVPit and #PBPitch are pitch parties on Twitter where writers tweet a 280-character pitch (it used to be 140!) for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Agents and editors make requests by liking/favoriting the tweeted pitch.You can research the guidelines by checking out the hashtags on Twitter. #PBpitch has a website http://www.pbpitch.com/ .
Pros of Twitter pitch parties
1. They're fun! Where else can you see what the rest of the world is up to and sometimes get a 'heads up' on what kinds of stories agents and editors are looking for?
2. They're GREAT practice for pitching. 280 characters isn't much. If you can distil your story into something legible and magical in 280 characters, you can use it anywhere.
3. You can meet new friends. Whilst you're not allowed to 'like' a pitch , you can follow someone and tweet to them. I've made some great online writer friends this way.
4. Of course, you just might find an agent or publisher! I've seen the success stories and they really do happen- just don't make this your no.1 reason for joining the party...
5 Perspective.Looking at these endless scrolling pitches gave me some idea of what it must be like to be an agent or editor with constant submissions to read. It becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly who has done their homework and who hasn't . Food for thought, eh?
Cons of Twitter pitch parties
1. They're US timezone so be prepared for a late night or early morning- or both!
2. They're timesuckers. Don't be tempted into reading all of the pitches! You can go back any time if you're interested and have a look.
3. They can freak you out. "But wait... that's MY idea..." ( well yes, it might be similar, but nobody else is you, so it's unlikely to be exactly the same.) However, if you're feeling fragile or you fall into the "pit of compare" easily, I suggest you stay away from these events or at least just pop your pitch in and then leave.
Now, I've found a fantastic Aussie agent by the so called 'normal' route, of asking questions and then subbing to the agent.
BUT FIRST- I had a non fiction book published ( no agent) after writing freelance articles for five years, and I had some interest from a publisher for my first two MG novels that I could offer the agent as some assurance that I'd be worth their professional investment.
I also found a fantastic U.S agent through the convoluted pathway of joining a Twitter party, being liked by an agent,subbing to that agent, being rejected, seeing that agent's conversation with another agent online and liking what the other agent said, then ... you guessed it, subbing and waiting... for the call (which was an email. I still read it from time to time, to cheer me up- like, just after a rejection.)
So you see, dear reader, everyone is different. For me personally, having an agent is excellent. Because I live out of the cities and can't attend many conferences, having an agent to submit my work gives me confidence that my work will at least be looked at by somebody (scroll back to my earlier comment on 'perspective'.) And, considering they probably haven't made enough out of me to fund a weekend away YET, I'm happy to pay their commission and am grateful beyond belief for their willingness to continue working with me.
It's still no guarantee of publication though- there's still crickets. Often. There are also some lovely rejections from real live publishers, which make one's day.
And... the occasional CALL (which is an email).
So there you have my story and my two cents - hope it helps you on your adventure!
talk to you soon...