If you're not pitching online - you need to be
Let’s put this into context. I have only ever self-published a small novella. Mainly due to the tireless efforts of my critique partners and Serena, the mighty editor extraordinaire at the MRWG. If it hadn’t been for the 25th anniversary anthology, I would not have published anything at all.
So how is that self-published novella going?
Well honestly, it has disappeared into the darkest depths of Amazon’s digital lists. I could advertise it relentlessly but the question is, Do I really want to? I’d rather advertise the original anthology that made it surface in the first place. Goddess of Fire was my first foray into self-publishing and won’t be forgotten.
After the writing of my first novella, I entered some competitions. I didn’t do so great and I started self-doubting any progress I’d made so far due to inconsistencies in judging feedback.
It was the ‘three bears’ of feedback. One was lovely but completely useless on feedback, one was very harsh but again useless on constructive feedback and the one in the middle was a perfect balance for criticism, praise and feedback.
Because of the feedback, my writing stalled and I decided to change my genre (a change is as good as a holiday). So, I moved from Science Fiction/Fantasy to contemporary. Quite a difference, but I have it in my head that judges may be more critical of Sci.Fi. /Fantasy (which is unlikely to be true).
I have plotted and planned a contemporary story. I have written out the beginning, middle and end. I have devised and described each character down to a tee. The black moments have been carefully written down and I’ve bounced ideas off my sister.
This morning as I scrolled through my emails, I received a Twitter account suggestion to follow some publishers, so being a little bored I decided to do so. Then this lead to me coming across a pitching frenzy by potential authors called #PitchMAS (thank you Angela Ackerman). You get to pitch your novel to literary agents/publishers and they can love your 140-character pitch or leave it. I pitched my new contemporary novel (It rocked!) Crucially it also helped me find the missing link I needed for my story to work.
Being a Twitter pitch novice, I didn’t realise you are supposed to have a polished, completed manuscript. When I read this rule I immediately took my pitch down (5 minutes after I’d pitched). However, in that time my pitch had been liked by a literary agency (oops). I’m not sure they would have noticed I deleted my pitch as I’m sure they had hundreds (fingers crossed). The upshot is, someone liked the premise of my story in that 140 characters and that was awesome. Now I need to write the damn book.
I was curious then about more pitch opportunities for writers and was astonished when doing some research how many pitch opportunities for various literary agencies and publishers there are. These are genuine opportunities to be noticed by some very serious agents/publishers through a non-traditional way. Some of you may have experienced similar pitching face-2-face at the RWA conference. This is the digital version with much less words.
Before you pitch, you will need: a completed manuscript that is polished, query letter and synopsis, PLUS (very important)—research any agency or publisher who “loves” your pitch before you submit. (There are the very reputable and the not so reputable for each pitch).
A great link to upcoming pitch competitions 2016-2017 is through Carissa Taylor’s blog. So, if you have your polished manuscript, I highly recommend giving them a go.