Welcome, one and all, to a very special posting. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s book review, I’m throwing today’s posting over to author Mel Gough. Today’s subject is Twitter Pitch Parties. I hope you all enjoy!
My writing background is in fanfiction. I still love writing fic, and do it whenever I have time. I’ve decided to make this fact part of my author brand, and tell people about my journey from amateur to published writer because I think it’ll give people hope that they can do it, too.
While fic is wonderful and fulfilling, it can never pay any bills, and one’s audience is restricted to the people who watch the same shows and movies as oneself. So, early on, I was curious to see if I couldn’t find a way to make my hobby into a bit of a second career. I started reading up on how to be successful with querying, and I started sending my query letters to agents. Then I heard about the fairly new concept of twitter pitch parties.
The idea behind them is to hone one’s pitch, with the help of the other writers taking part, and sometimes editors and published authors. Then, in the last round, the pitches are read by agents and editors looking for new talent. If one of them likes your tweet, you can query them as per their querying rules (it’s important to always, always read those rules, as each agent will want something different in terms of how many chapters or pages to send etc.).
In February 2017, I took part in the twitter pitch party called #sonofapitch. Over the next few weeks I honed my pitch. I spent many late nights working to make my entry as good as I could. I spent just as much time interacting with fellow writers and the wonderful judges in the social media buzz around the event. In my experience, networking and social interactions with other writers are just as important for a new writer as the feedback on the writing. I firmly believe that without some kind of network, where people help each other by offering moral support and sharing resources and experiences, a writer will struggle unnecessarily. The interactions also help to build a social media presence, which is essential for any writer today, regardless of who they’re publishing with. Humans are curious, and your readers want to get to know you!
Back to the twitter pitch event. My MS wasn’t picked from the query letter and 250 words that were posted in the blog round. However, undoubtedly thanks to the very intense feedback on the actual 140 characters pitch tweet, in the very last round of the pitch party my MS was requested by NineStar Press. I sent off my MS, then continued querying indie presses and agents for the next few weeks.
On 21 April, I received the email every aspiring writer wants to have in their inbox. It was from the Senior Editor at NineStar Press, and started thus: After assessment of your submitted novel, A World Apart, I am thrilled to offer you a contract for publication with NineStar Press. Needless to say, I was thrilled, too. NSP are a wonderful, inclusive and supportive publisher, and I couldn’t be happier with them as the home for my debut novel.
I think twitter pitch parties are a wonderful thing. A publisher or agent noticing you isn’t guaranteed, but even without it you should end up with a better MS – and a bunch of new friends who are supportive of your efforts and will cheer you on. Cherish that opportunity!
Another thing I’ve been doing while finding my feet in the publishing world is start a database with useful online resources for writers. There are two parts to it now: The first one is a list of resources for aspiring writers (HERE), and I wrote it with other fanfic writers in mind. But it’s useful to anyone who wants to get published.
The second part isn’t quite ready yet to share. It’ll be on my blog (https://melgoughwriter.wordpress.com) when it’s done, and it will contain resources useful for writers who are published and starting on the marketing and PR journey.
My social media:
Giveaway for Mel’s debut novel, ‘A World Apart’: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/254386-a-world-apart