Tweet Your Way to Representation

Tweet Your Way to Representation

No, seriously.

by Jamie K. Schimdt

April 10, 2018

 

One of the ways social media can be a writer's best friend is by allowing you to be up-to-date on trends. On Facebook, we've seen a rise in online selling. Whether it's ads on your wall or Facebook "parties" set up by Tupperware, LuLaRoe, or another home business, Facebook brings in buyers. Twitter, on the other hand, is too brief to really get a marketing program a lot of buzz without special attention. The exception is one of the current trends now, which is to have a contest on Twitter for authors seeking representation on their books.
    
This type of contest doesn't have an entry fee. You don't have to follow complicated guidelines, you just simply have to tweet a pitch for your book.

Simple?

Not even close.

If you thought summarizing your 75,000-word novel into a four paragraph query was hard, it gets even more challenging when you have to pitch the book in 280-characters. That's including spaces, punctuation and hashtags.
    
The hashtag # is the most important part of the pitch because that's how the agents sort through the tremendous outpouring of entries. So if an agent were only looking to acquire young adult novels, they would narrow it down by putting #YA in their Twitter search box along with the hashtag of the contest. It also helps the average Twitter user find all the contest entries. By putting #pitmad in the search bar of Twitter, anyone can see the pitches for that particular contest. Try it!
    
Before I had an agent, I entered a contest called Pitch Madness which was run by Brenda Drake. I had a dragon paranormal romance that I wanted to find an agent or an editor for and in the contest they were running, I had to attract them in 140-characters. The rules of this contest were simple. Just tweet a pitch and use the hashtag #pitchjla. You were limited to one pitch per hour.

These were what I came up with:
•    Carolyn, a were-dragon, falls in love with a full dragon. To get her man, she must break the spell preventing her from shifting. #pitchjla
•    Were-dragon fights an evil cult whose magic is preventing her from shifting and claiming her mate. #pitchjla
•    Weredragon fights an evil cult whose magic is preventing her from shifting and claiming her mate, a sexy FBI op who hates humans. #pitchjla
•    In a world where dragons live among us, Carolyn must break a spell keeping her from assuming her true form & the man she loves. #pitchjla
•    When Carolyn witnesses an attack at the dragon embassy, she becomes obsessed with an FBI agent and her own dragon destiny. #pitchjla
•    Not being able to shift into a dragon is driving Carolyn nuts. When she falls in love, she must break the spell to claim her mate #pitchjla
    
After I posted my tweets, throughout the day any agent or editor who was participating in the Twitter contest would press the like button (It's the one that looks like a heart.) if they wanted to see the full manuscript.
    
Entangled Publishing's Liz Pelletier saw my pitch and requested the full manuscript. I sent it in, and that turned into a contract for a three book series with them.
    
You can also receive feedback from the people who are watching the Twitter contest feed, and sometimes can gain new followers on social media because of your book's pitch. If something really strikes a chord with someone, you might get your first fan who will follow your career from this very first pitch all the way through publication. Some published authors will also offer to critique a contest pitch before the contest in exchange for a retweet. So you can also broaden your networking base as well if you enter a lot of these Twitter contests.

Click here to get a curated list of Hashtags for Writers!
    
In fact, just reading the entries on the Twitter contest will help you see what agents and editors are requesting, and what they're passing up. It's like a behind the scene look at what goes through an agent's mind when they look at queries.
    
Even if you're not ready to submit to a Twitter contest, try and get your manuscript's pitch down to Twitter length. Aside from being a good exercise in how to narrow down the focus of your book, it's also the perfect length to be an "elevator pitch," which is a great tool to have when you go to conferences and find yourself in an elevator with someone and they ask you what your book is about.
    
Links to Twitter pitch events and contests:
•    #PitMad
•    DVpit is a Twitter event especially for marginalized authors.
•    More social media contests HERE.

Click here to get a curated list of Hashtags for Writers!

Use these hashtags to research agents, find publishers open to submissions, engage with readers in your genre, and connect with fellow writers.

USA Today bestselling author, Jamie K. Schmidt, writes contemporary love stories and paranormal romances.  Her steamy, romantic comedy, Life’s a Beach, reached #2 on Barnes & Noble and #9 on Amazon and iBooks.  Her Club Inferno series from Random House’s Loveswept line has hit both the Amazon and Barnes & Noble top one hundred lists and the first book in the series, Heat, put her on the USA Today bestseller list for the first time.  Her dragon paranormal romance series from Entangled Publishing, has been called “fun and quirky” and “endearing.”

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Great Read!

By Mara Kim Amazon review, Verified Purchase

"This is another great read from [ICL]... When I saw this particular one, I grabbed it immediately ... This book is a great addition to a writer's (whether published or not) shelf ... I highly recommend their writing courses. You receive feedback on your work from published authors. You will be encouraged but also pushed to make your story from good to great."