Twitter holds regular ‘Pitch‘ events. These are events where you try and pitch your work in 280 characters and hope an agent bites on your premise!

Two such events are:

#PitMad

#IWSGPit

Here are the pitches I created for these events! I’ll go through each of them and explain what I was going for. 

Pitch #1

HUNTERS follows characters in a world where The Rising exposed the truth about monsters of myth and legend. Years later, peace is uneasy as each battles their own inner demons and prepares for an Icelandic summit that could change everything again.
#IWSGPit #A #SF #F #LGBT

Okay, so the BIG issue with ‘Hunters‘ is that it’s book 1 of a planned 7-book epic saga. As such, the book contains multiple characters…think Game of Thrones and you’ll get the idea. Each of those characters needs to be introduced and their backstories built painstakingly up, and because it’s a globetrotting adventure, these people aren’t all in one place. 

Book 1 contains multiple plot lines which will all start coming together later as characters are meeting up and their separate lives become intertwined by fate.

So, how do you pitch that in 280 characters?

The decision I came to was to split up the pitches and cover different characters in each pitch. This first one, however, was supposed to give a brief overview of the story arc itself. But while this covers it, it misses the main story arc that drives the narrative of book 1. Zarra’s story arc. 

So, that became the emphasis for the second pitch.

Pitch #2

Grisly murders lead to the abduction of Kareena St. Claire. Sources of the greatest war we have seen are unknown. Human-turned-Were bounty hunter, Zarra, is in the thick of the mystery and needs to solve it while trying not to let her past get in the way. #PitMad #A #SF #F #MR #LGBT

As you can see, this one forgoes the overall story arc of the saga and concentrates more on the arc of one character. A theme I continued into pitches 3 and 4 that deal with Gayle and Vanessa.

Pitch #3

Fae-human hybrid Gayle Knightley struggles against the memories that caused her PTSD as she adapts to life off the battlefield as a trainer. Simultaneously she needs to sort her feelings for Michael and the blossoming romance that has taken her off guard.
#IWSGPit #A #SF #F #LGBT

Pitch #4

Bisexual Vampyrii Lyssa Balthazaar plots to overthrow New Victus leader StormHall. He asks her to deliver a proposal to the 2046 peace summit that is too good to be true. She agrees while remaining unable to shake the feeling she is being set up.
#IWSGPit #A #SF #F #LGBT

For pitches 5 and 6 I went back to trying to describe the events of the series as a whole. I wanted to introduce the concept of this being a very supernatural world the characters live in. Give them an idea of the monsters and creatures that they’d be introduced to.

Pitch #5

HUNTERS follows various characters in a world where an event in 2016 uncovered the truth about the monsters of myth & legend. 30 years later our world is a place where humans live in an uneasy peace with Vampyrii, Werewolves, Ice Giants, Dragons & more.
#IWSGPit #A #SF #F #LGBT

Pitch #6

After The Rising event in 2016, follow Fae, Were, Vamp, and Humans on the new global spectrum as they prepare for the Icelandic Peace Summit that could change the world while also working to solve the mystery of who caused The Rising in the first place. #PitMad #F #SF #MR #LGBT

So, now that you’ve seen the pitches, I don’t mind in telling you…

I have previously had no success with them.

Honestly, while I hoped they might pique the curiosity of an agent, I didn’t truly expect them to. My observation of these events is that it is rare in the extreme that an agent likes your post at all. 

It’s also a clusterfuck of an event, usually, because no one outside the #WritingCommunity knows what the fuck is going on and, hence, doesn’t understand the rules.

The golden rule is that NOBODY should like the pitch post except an agent who is interested. So, of course you have a bunch of friends from different backgrounds who don’t know any better and just end up liking your tweets out of friendly loyalty and helpfulness.

So, there’s that.

My other major stumbling block is…well, ME.

You see, I’m a complete numpty when it comes to Twitter. 

If you doubt my ineptitude, then I refer you to my precious blog post ‘My Twitter Confusion‘.

And if you need some form of character reference then go talk about me to @NikkiTwisted who is constantly trying to teach me how to deal with Twitter. It’s a thankless task that is doomed to failure!

It’s something I’ve never gotten my head around. I watch my wonderful Wifey as she Instagram’s like a pro, and I see other friends and family using Facebook to great effect. For a while, I tried to keep my Facebook page updated, but I admit it’s fallen by the wayside a little as this website took over the role that my Facebook page used to play.

I’m WAY more comfortable blogging on here…spilling my stream-of-consciousness onto you guys, my unsuspecting readers.

Errrr, Jon… You seem to have taken one of those detours again…

Yes, I have, haven’t I?

My apologies.

To get to the point, these Twitter pitch events are not easy. Not in the slightest. And honestly… I’m not sure it’s for me.

(Incidentally, I have similar thoughts on NanoWriMo…but that’s a blog post for another time! Unless this text is blue and underlined…in which case, at some point in the future, I’ve written that blog post and then came back here to hyperlink to it. But if it’s not…then I haven’t. I think I’m confusing myself now!)

That said, you can’t discount the notion that maybe – just maybe – you might get discovered. It’s like playing the lottery. You know the odds are hugely against it…that in all likelihood you’ve just wasted £5 on a ticket that won’t win.

But…

You have to be ‘in‘ it to ‘win‘ it.

If you never buy that ticket, you’ll never win. Those odds are 100%. 

When it comes to your dreams, you’ll take any odds – no matter how low they may be – on the off chance that your number will come up. That, for once, you’ll win and everything will be right with the world.

Can anyone out there help?

Bearing all that in mind, I’m now asking you guys out there for help.

How many of you participate in these events?

Do you have any hints or tips regarding how to create these pitches in order to get them noticed?

Am I doing it all wrong?

Any advice would be gratefully received in the comments below. Plus, it would give anyone else who is struggling with this stuff and has read this post nodding sadly in empathy with me some advice, too.

The #WritingCommunity on Twitter is a great one. We stick together and support each other. Let’s all put our heads together and knock this one out of the park, shall we?

Love & Books

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9 Comments

  1. Evie

    Reply

    I’m no expert, but I think you should focus more on your salesmanship. Ultimately, the agents are all about picking up stories and new writers that will bring in money. So sell it to them. Instead of a plot summary, do think it would work if you added a bit more about your sassy, brave, intelligent, female characters? Female empowerment is still hot right now. I may have commented about that before (or someone else did and I read it here). Maybe you’ve checked and it just isn’t as marketable as I believe it is.

  2. Liam

    Reply

    I used to craft marketing pitches, but the clients were more infomercial than literary dream. Personally, I dig your second pitch, but I’d cut out the second sentence because it breaks up the action and slows down the momentum. It might help get you noticed if you work on your hashtag and SEO game.

    I applaud you for pitching, especially through social media. Twitter can be a war zone filled with harassment and ridicule. It takes guts and confidence in your talent to put yourself out there.

    • Jack Evans

      Reply

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking when I read the second pitch. However, I think all the pitches are attention grabbing and well-crafted. I went on Twitter and searched through the #pitmad hashtag just to see how other writers were doing it and Jon’s pitches are the same or better. I’m beginning to think it’s more about the genre than the author or the story. It seems like a tough genre to break into. I also agree about the hashtags. Why #F, but not #fantasy or #scifi. Why #LGB instead of #LGBT, which is more common and what people are going to search for. Though, maybe there are rules surrounding how you pitch and that explains the hashtags.

  3. Ally

    Reply

    I think your best bet is to summarize like you did. Concentrating on one character or topic of the book wouldn’t make me grab the concept. I know when I’m looking for my next book to read, I prefer the summary. Will I like the idea, the topic. So i thought the first was the best.

    • DesireeS

      Reply

      I like the summary ones too. I think telling more about the show instead of one character will pull people in quicker. At least it would interest me quicker.

      • Jon Ford

        Reply

        Noted! Thanks both! I’ll bear that in mind for future Pitch events 😀

  4. Simon

    Reply

    I have not participated in PitMad myself, mostly because I don’t do well with trying to break my book idea down into a sentence or two.

    However, I know there is at least one Facebook group out there focused on PitMad and helping authors come up with tweets that might be noticed by agents. There are also some websites out there offering resources. The whole thing just seems overwhelming to me. Maybe I’m too old-fashioned and just need to get with the current times.

    • Jon Ford

      Reply

      I’m kind of with you on this one Simon, I find it practically impossible to boil my saga into 160 characters!

      • Nikki Anderson

        Reply

        Well, it’s a good thing, then, that they give us 280 characters to work with these days. 😛

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