For those of you gearing up for #PitMad, I thought maybe a little inspiration might be in order. Let’s talk about how to land an agent using this amazing event. It worked for me. It can work for you, too. Let’s talk about how to make it happen.
You have 240 characters…use them! Use this as your opportunity to show off your writing talent to agents scrolling the feed. If you do it properly, your tweet will stand out, and you’ll find yourself with more likes than you know what to do with. Your tweet must include the following:
Your Protagonist – Name your protagonist by name (first name is okay). As much as possible, let me get to know your protag, what motivates him/her, and give us enough of an idea as to who they are and their personality that we know why we should root for them. Who is she? What drives her? What's her profession?
Your Conflict – Tell us what the protagonist will face in your book. What trials, tribulations, and battles will he/she face in your book as briefly as possible. What do you throw at the protag? What battle does she face? What happens to her or someone she cares about?
Protagonist’s Goal – What must the protag do in order to win/save the way? Tell me as briefly as possible how he/she must overcome the obstacle thrown at them. Must they save the kidnapped child? Must they stop the terrorists from bombing the white house? What exactly must they do to beat the bad guy. What must he/she do to defeat the bad guy/win/save the day?
Stakes – This is crucial, folks. I know it seems hard in 240 characters or less, especially since I’ve already asked you to introduce the protagonist, their conflict, and their goals. But agents who find tweets which include stakes will inevitably be intrigued and will therefore click that heart button. You must tell agents what is at stake for the protagonist if he/she fails to overcome the obstacles or loses the battle. Will the world end? Will someone else die? Will he/she lose the love of his life? These elements MUST be included in your tweet to gain interest from agents.
Comp Titles – If you can, try to include comp titles, meaning, titles of other books similar to yours. Think about which books might wind up on the right and left of your book in the bookstore. The best way I’ve found to do this is to say “Title + Tile” or, “Lord of the Rings + Gone Girl.” Stupid examples, but you get the point.
Genre Hashtags – If you have room, also include at least one genre hashtag. Those are listed on pitmad’s website, but essentially, it helps agents filter the feed to include genres they are seeking. For example, I write suspense and thriller novels, so I always used to use #S or #T. It is only a few characters, but it can really help you tremendously.
If you can figure out a way to include all of these above elements, you’ll have a winning pitch! Here is my successful #pitmad pitch, which led to a full manuscript request, which led to an offer, which led to my contract with my agent.
Find Her + Butterfly Garden: Teen escapes captivity. Self-harming Det. Mena pursues kidnapper, who may also be her daughter’s killer. To catch him, Mena must overcome her demons or another girl will be abducted and Mena will have another young life on her conscience. #PitMad #S
Basically, if you follow the basic rules and if you have a compelling pitch, you’re much more likely to get some likes from some amazing agents. Whatever you do, do not just throw together a tweet and hope it works. Put some thought and practice into it. Get some feedback from fellow authors. Hire a query editor (like me) to help you for a low, affordable rate!
If you need help with your pitch and/or your query, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do all I can to help you land those likes and eventually, that perfect agent!