#PitMad is a Twitter pitch event that happens four times a year. Unagented writers with finished, polished manuscripts tweet pitches for their book in hopes that an agent might see one of their tweets and “like” it. A like from an agent means they are interested in your project and you should query them immediately. The next #PitMad is December 2, 2021 from 8am-8pm EST. If you’re thinking about doing it, here are some important things to know…
1. Know the #PitMad rules.
If you aren’t very familiar with #PitMad, read about it here. Even if you’ve done it before, go ahead and read over all the rules. Like how you need to have a COMPLETED manuscript and you can only tweet 3 times total about the same manuscript.
2. Include #PitMad and your genre hashtag(s).
For each tweet, include #PitMad and hashtags for your genre (for example #YA for Young Adult or #M for Mystery). For a full list of hashtags, go here.
3. Do not “like” other people’s #PitMad tweets.
That little heart button is only for agents who are interested in the pitch. But feel free to comment on other people’s tweets.
4. Comment on other people’s #PitMad tweets.
OK, here’s where it gets complicated. Because of how the Twitter algorithm works, tweets with more retweets and comments are going to be more visible and appear at the top of an agent’s feed when they search for #PitMad. In other words, even with a super awesome pitch, if you don’t have a lots of retweets and comments, there’s a chance agents will never see your pitch.
In recent years, writers have started asking (sometimes weeks in advance) to swap retweets with other writers. If you have all day to sit on Twitter retweeting, this can increase your visibility, but it also clogs up Twitter with a bajillion retweets, and I’ve never been crazy about this system. I sort of wish that the #PitMad creators would forbid it, but I guess they can’t really do it.
So I suggest doing comments instead of retweets. Reply-commenting on a tweet gives the exact same boost for visibility, but it doesn’t clog up the Twitter feed (or your own profile page) with thousands of retweets. Sure, it’s more time consuming, but it forces you to actually read the tweets you’re boosting. Plus, writers like getting feedback on their pitches, even if it’s not from an agent.
Just be sure to give positive, supportive feedback. If you don’t have anything nice to say, maybe don’t boost the tweet in the first place.
And, all this being said, I’ve gotten agent likes on tweets with very few retweets or comments. Sometimes it’s just about luck and timing. If you happen to tweet your pitch at the exact same time an agent hops on twitter, your tweet will pop up under “latest,” and they will see it. So if you don’t get tons of comments/retweets it doesn’t mean you can’t still get noticed by an agent.
5. Keep your expectations low!
Seriously. Do this for the fun of it, do this to meet and support other writers, do this for the nice comments you’re going to get from other writers.
Don’t do it because you think you’re going to get tons of agent likes. There’s a good chance you might not get any. And that can be really disappointing. So, as much as possible, keep your expectations low and your positive attitude high.
If you don’t end up with any agent likes, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes it’s about the right agent being on Twitter at the right time to see your pitch. Twitter pitch events work for some people and not for others. It’s a crap shoot, but it’s free, so why not try? (Unless your heart and nerves can’t handle it, which I totally understand.)
6. Spread out your pitches throughout the day.
You only get 3 pitches per finished manuscript, so be strategic about when you send them. I recommend doing one in the morning, one at mid-day, and one in the afternoon. You may not want to tweet right at 8am because that’s when a lot of others will be tweeting, and you may not want to tweet afte r6 or 7pm because people tend to be running out of steam by then.
And I recommend writing three different pitches for the same manuscript. Maybe one pitch will resonate with an agent more than another.
7. Use #PitMad to your advantage
For one thing, it’s a great way to meet other writers in your genre. (You could, for example, reach out to some of those writers if you’re looking for a critique partner or beta reader.)
You can also search the #PitMad hashtag along with keywords from your own manuscript. For example, if you’ve written a middle grade novel about witches, search #PitMad #MG and the keywords “witch,” “witches,” and “witchcraft.” (Go here for the Twitter Advanced Search where you can search by hashtag, keywords, and more.) Find some pitches similar to yours that got agent likes. Now you know those agents might be interested in your pitch as well. Query them!
8. Remember, you can query any agent whenever you’d like
Just because an agent didn’t like your tweet doesn’t meet you can’t query them (as long as they’re open to submissions). It’s possible they didn’t see your tweet, or that you weren’t able to hook them with a tweet when perhaps you could hook them with a query letter and sample pages. #PitMad is NOT the only way to snag an agent.
9. Practice and polish your pitch before the big day.
#PitMad offers the following advice for how to write your 35-word twitter pitch. Once you’ve written a few (I recommend writing three different pitches) have writer friends read your tweets and give you feedback. If you belong to any writing facebook groups, this can be a great place to post your pitch and get feedback.
You can also practice on Twitter and get feedback from other writers during #MockPit. Unfortunately there are no more #MockPit dates this year, but when the 2022 dates have been announced, I’ll post them here.
Finally, I’d recommend searching #PitMad and looking at old #PitMad tweets to see how people have crafted their pitches and what types of pitches got the most agent attention.
10. Schedule your tweets.
If you’re going to be busy the day of #PitMad, or if you’re afraid you’ll forget, you can schedule your tweets.
11. Pin your best pitch.
Pin your pitchto the top of your profile page so that people can find it easily. I always get annoyed when someone asks me to comment on their pitch but then I can’t find it on their page.
12. Remember, #PitMad is not the only Twitter pitch party.
#PitMad is HUGE and TONS of people participate. It can often feel like you’re in a giant convention hall with a million writers, everyone shouting desperately about their books. It can be overwhelming is what I’m saying. Some people have more success with the smaller, more niche contests such as #KissPit for romance, #DVPit for diverse voices, and #SFFPit for Sci-Fi Fantasy. For a full list of Twitter pitch contests, go here. (I realize this list is for 2021. I will try to remember to update it to 2022 when the 2022 schedule is released.)
13. If you DO get an agent like…
If you do get a like from an agent or indie publisher (yay!), do your research to make sure they are someone you’d WANT to represent you. Look at their website, see what other books they have represented/published. Just because someone “liked” your book doesn’t mean you HAVE to query them.
If you like what you see, hurray! Check their Twitter profile — they have probably posted a tweet with details on how to query them. If not, check their agency website. In your query letter, mention that they liked your #PitMad tweet, and include the actual tweet. You may also want to include “#PitMad request” in the subject line of your query email, unless they have given other instructions.
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Good luck out there! Twitter pitching is partly about crafting a great pitch and partly about luck and timing. So do your best, and know that the rest is out of your control!
Have any more tips about Twitter pitching? I’d love to hear! Drop me a comment below!