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Patrick.S
03-26-2014, 12:43 AM
So today is PitMad on twitter. It's a chance to pitch your MS in under 140 words. If an agent favorites your pitch, they normally welcome a query and sample pages.

Here's the part that has me scratching my head. Most, if not all, of these agents are open to queries anyway. Is there any advantage to having them see a pitch first. Am I looking at this wrong?

My concern is that I am seeing agents favoriting fifty or more pitches. So doesn't that mean they will have a crazy full inbox tomorrow? Could I be insuring that an agent has less time to look at my query if I do one of these pitch parties?

I would love to hear this from an agent's perspective. Do the queries you get through PitMad receive more careful consideration. Is there an advantage to pitching?

I haven't started querying yet so I don't have a hat in this race. I would be really interested in the answer though.

Old Hack
03-26-2014, 11:19 AM
The only advantage I can see to this is if the agent is otherwise closed to queries. If they're already accepting queries then it doesn't seem to give one any advantage.

ap123
03-26-2014, 02:35 PM
Hi Patrick,

The twitter pitch of Pitchmad is limited to 140 characters (including spaces) not words.

The advantage, *I think* is that if an agent favorites your pitch, you can write "requested, Pitmad* on your subject line, which *I think* moves you higher up in the slush pile.

I'm not an agent, this is my rough understanding of how it works.

Patrick.S
03-26-2014, 02:56 PM
Oops. I meant to write 140 characters. Good catch! :)

Filigree
03-26-2014, 03:38 PM
Even if a writer has a query with an agent, they can do a pitch through #pitmad. In some cases, the agent will see something interesting and take another look at the longer query.

#pitmad is only for unagented authors, BTW.

Jennifer_Laughran
03-26-2014, 03:56 PM
The upside of it, from a writer perspective: Let's say 100 agents are reading PitMad. Maybe you haven't started querying yet at all, or maybe you only have 10 or 20 queries out. You PROBABLY don't have 100 out. So if even a handful of those folks that are reading do end up favoriting your tweet, it might give you additional ideas of people to query that you wouldn't have even thought of before, and in theory at least, their interest is already somewhat piqued.

The downside of it, from an agent's perspective: I don't usually look at things like PitMad because, well, I'm too busy. And, what if they've already queried me, or one of my colleagues. . . I have the regular query system set up the way it is because it provides maximum efficiency, and this just seems like it could get messy fast.

And I also feel like, if somebody really wants to work with me, they can just QUERY me, and I'll read. The system really does work, and I have enough to do without seeking more queries out. I'm not exactly invisible - if they haven't queried me because they DON'T want to work with me, why should I want to work with them?

Instead I will occasionally participate in things like #mswl (manuscript wishlist) -- where agents and eds mention things they'd love to see -- in the hopes that if any twitter person happens to be writing such a thing, they'll reach out. :-)

Old Hack
03-26-2014, 04:53 PM
Remember that #pitmad and other similar things don't make it any more likely that you will receive an offer of representation from those agents: your book still has to be good enough, and your query still has to be good enough to make that clear.

Filigree
03-26-2014, 05:20 PM
I watch #mswl to gauge the markets (and growl to myself about where were these agents three years ago when I *was* querying). But even sans agent, I'd be as unlikely to participate in #pitmad as I am in elevator pitches. I'm terrible at high-concept simplicity. 140 characters isn't enough for me. 25 seconds isn't enough - and looks kinda foolish now when I watch other people doing it. I can barely manage a 250-word query, so I'd be happy to send a query and my five sample pages, and hope an agent can give me two or three minutes.

Sage
03-26-2014, 05:38 PM
One advantage of #pitmad is that it allows you to present your book in a different way from your query pitch. If it catches the attention of an agent, and you query them with "pitmad" in the query, they may give you slightly more attention because they've already seen a good (high concept, probably) pitch for the novel. If nobody favorites your pitches, you haven't wasted a chance because you can still query them. And in the case of an agency like Jen's (although I don't think anyone from her agency participates, but it's a good example), if you didn't know which agent to query because they have many excellent agents in your genre, one showing interest might help you decide who to query.

Besides, it's fun, and the worst that happens is that nobody shows any interest, and you do normal querying anyway.

(Actually the worst that can happen is that an agent or editor who isn't up to par requests to see it and you don't do your research on them, so do your research!)

Wilde_at_heart
03-26-2014, 06:14 PM
Even if a writer has a query with an agent, they can do a pitch through #pitmad. In some cases, the agent will see something interesting and take another look at the longer query.

#pitmad is only for unagented authors, BTW.

I saw in another thread where a person's QL had been rejected by a particular agent, but that same agent favourited their pitch and then requested a full. So you never know.

I don't think I'd invest much time in another one myself but it was useful to find more agents to follow and see what they like.

Tromboli
03-26-2014, 06:38 PM
What Sage said. I had a rejection on a query from an agent at an agency that said "a no from one is a no from all" but then got a request during pitmad from another agent at the agency and it quickly became a full request. That's probably the biggest perk for me, figuring out who will be interested. You'll also occasionally find great agents you'd never heard (I know a lot of agents but there are always a few that fly under the radar.) or agents you didn't think would be interested based on their clients but request anyway.

You also usually get read slightly quicker since their curiosity is piqued.

It's also fun to see what else is being pitched and what agents are requesting. I've seen some great sounding books that I'll be sure to follow to see if they're ever published because I want to read them.

And (I just keep going, don't I) its great practice. Sure, some books are easier to pitch and some genres are much more likely to get attention on things like pitmad but that doesn't mean there aren't some great things to be learned by trying.

I'm a twitter pitching fan, its how I found my editor and also got me very close to signing with an agent. I'll continue to give it a shot so long as I'm not agented even if the requests are few and far between (my MG isn't having so much luck. 1 request in two twitter pitch parties)

Patrick.S
03-26-2014, 08:54 PM
Thanks for all the responses, especially your perspective Jennifer. I totally agree that it would be fun. I had to hold myself back this time because my MS isn't quite ready. I wonder if the whole idea of a slush pile has become irrelevant in modern times. From the sounds of most agencies, their slush pile is more like an efficient queue.

As for MSWL, I like reading it at the idea phase. An agent asks for YA that takes place at the circus, and by the time it's gone through my brain tunnel it's an adult fantasy about man-bears. :D

Fizgig
03-26-2014, 10:20 PM
Thanks for asking this OP. I did tweet a few pitches this latest #pitmad and generated a little interest. My feeling was that it couldn't hurt and might help.

I actually think it is a good way to see what agents are actively looking - the agents commenting and favoriting on pitmad gave me a sense who is building their list at the moment.

Though, as Jennifer said, it also was a little messy because one of the agents that liked my pitch was at an agency where another agent already has my partial. Though that resulted in a little back and forth between the agents "fighting" over me on twitter which seems like it can only be good. But I see how it could get messy.

GingerGunlock
03-27-2014, 02:21 AM
Every time a #pitmad has happened, I didn't know, wasn't ready, or some combination of both. This time, I knew ahead of time, but my novel isn't ready. And a 140 character DEFINITELY wasn't.

#pitmad is just that, to me: madness. I can see how it can be fun, but I can see how it would make me want to tear my hear out. We'll see where I am the next time one comes around!

Niiicola
03-27-2014, 05:02 AM
I did PitMad in January and got a request from an agent who I hadn't planned to query because I didn't think she'd be interested in my genre. It ended up turning into a full request. Like people have said, there's no risk involved and it opens your MS up to new possibilities you might not have considered.

If nothing else, it's a great chance to see what's currently being submitted and to follow some new writers working on interesting sounding books.

Corinne Duyvis
03-27-2014, 04:43 PM
Always make sure to do your research when it comes to these kinds of events/contests, though. You don't have to submit your manuscript to every agent or editor who asks just because they asked. It can result in a lot of awkwardness if they end up offering and you don't actually want to sign with them. You'll have wasted your time and theirs.

It's not always that clear-cut--sometimes you're uncertain if you're a good fit for an agent and they turn out to be perfect once you actually talk to them--but if the entire agency is skeevy, or if the publisher has been in business for under a month, or if the agent has only sold to publishers you could submit to yourself, or or if you've heard sketchy things, etc. it's fine to simply not submit. Don't sell yourself short by latching onto anyone who shows interest.

That said, I always wanted to participate in PitMad and similar events, but the timing was never right, and now I'm no longer looking for an agent. Seems like a fun way to sort of publicly put your work out there.

MandyHubbard
03-27-2014, 07:19 PM
I'm a very commercial author/agent and find that the 140character pitches appeal to my sensibilities-- I love an elevator pitch that really works.

I'm a bit nervous sometimes I'll accidently favorite things i've rejected (and either dont remember or just don't recognize in such a short-form pitch) but I find overall, that I get some queries I'm not sure i would've gotten otherwise. I've already requested a full from this week's Pitmad and i haven't gotten through all the queries sent from it yet.

hikarinotsubasa
03-27-2014, 07:34 PM
I've done PitMad (as an author, not agent) twice, as well as PitchMas and AdPit (similar, except that AdPit is only for adult and NA). No offers of rep yet, but I've got some good requests that are still out, and in general I count it as a success. Off the top of my head, I've gotten:

1. A request from a new agent at an established agency who was SO new she was not officially open to queries at the time.
2. A request from an agent who was closed to unsolicited queries at the time.
3. A request from an agent whose wish list was vague (one of those "a good story well told" profiles) and whom I may never have queried otherwise because I wasn't sure they'd be a good fit.
4. A request from an agent at an agency where I'd been rejected by another agent and was having trouble deciding who to try next.

MOST IMPORTANTLY....

LOTS of retweets from other writers and readers, new followers who are interested in my book and (since I was also following the other pitches) new authors that I am interested in hearing from as well. Networking never hurts. :)

That said, some books are better suited to Twitter pitching than others. Mine's pretty high concept and easy to condense... I can see that some other INCREDIBLE books may not be. If you think you can do your book justice in 140 characters, I really recommend it. Of course, you should continue to traditionally query too. ;)

Sage
03-27-2014, 07:43 PM
Always make sure to do your research when it comes to these kinds of events/contests, though. You don't have to submit your manuscript to every agent or editor who asks just because they asked. It can result in a lot of awkwardness if they end up offering and you don't actually want to sign with them. You'll have wasted your time and theirs.

Yep, last time I did this, I got three requests from agents that I didn't like the looks of. Either they were new (and not in an established agency) or their agency didn't sound like something I wanted to deal with according to BR&BC. I just didn't sub to them.

I get a lot of interest from readers on one pitch that never gets any requests. It's fun, but simultaneously sad. I also get a ton of new followers from each PitMad.

BaneStryfe
03-28-2014, 03:24 AM
missed it by two days lol. anyone know when the next one is? I've honestly never heard of it until today

Wilde_at_heart
03-28-2014, 05:43 AM
I think they're four times a year...

I didn't get much in the way of bites (one publisher who seemed legit but very small - what worried me was how few they themselves followed) but I did get more followers myself, along with several re-tweets from people I don't think know me from here.

And I recognised a few pitches from QLH and retweeted those as well. It was all a bit mad and I think next time I might get a couple in early on and be done with it. My eyes got a bit buggy from reading through them all - I can only imagine how it is for an agent.

werewillf
03-28-2014, 07:24 AM
Great topic! I always just thought it was a smaller, more immediate slush pile? I guess the best part is that the agent is seeking you out, so their interest is already piqued when they read your query.

Tromboli
03-28-2014, 07:28 AM
They surround the big pitch contests run by Brenda Drake. So follow her blog and on twiter and you shouldn't miss much. The next one will be May-ish after The Writers Voice, then september after Pitchmadness. Jan after pitch wars and then March after Pitchmadness (again) But there's also #pitchmas, same concept, run by different people. That's twice a year, once mid summer (july I think) and the other Decemeber. Seems to have just as good a turn out.

Tromboli
03-28-2014, 07:33 AM
Great topic! I always just thought it was a smaller, more immediate slush pile? I guess the best part is that the agent is seeking you out, so their interest is already piqued when they query.

Definitely not. Lol. There are hundreds of authors pitching. I've seen 50 or more pitches posted every MINUTE during some of the busiest times of pitmad (some authors repost their pitches more than they should) pitchmadness could be described that way though (thats the full contest on the blogs, not the twitter pitches. Its like a prescreened slush pile. Pitmad is a dogpile sometimes)

hikarinotsubasa
03-28-2014, 12:39 PM
Very few if any of my #PitMad requests were from the agents participating in Pitch Madness... I didn't enter the contest because between agents who already had my full, agents who already said no, and agents who didn't represent anything remotely close, there were only two or three who could have requested anyway. I queried a couple of them independently, but ANYONE can lurk on PitMad... you really never know who's going to see your pitch. :)

MarkcusD
03-28-2014, 02:39 PM
It was interesting and I met some other writers through it.

aus10phile
04-03-2014, 05:56 PM
You get quite a few Twitter followers, so it's a nice way to make connections. I had several people (other writers) tell me they'd want to read my book, so its a nice feel good moment. Plus you never know... they could be future readers if I sell my book. I followed some people based on the fact that their writing sounded interesting to me.

Also, one of my PitMad favorites turned into a full request for my manuscript. So it's just another avenue to try. Even if you don't pitch your book, it's fun to read everyone else's and start to get a sense for what stands out. I've heard some agents describe it as a very fast moving slush pile.

LadyA
04-09-2014, 02:55 PM
Does anyone know when the next #pitmad is? I've finally got a [high-concept, I hope] ms which I can sum up in 140 chars, and I'd like to be ready in time! Thanks :)

Cathy C
04-09-2014, 03:36 PM
The most recent note on her blog (http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/) shows just the March 25th one, so a date might not be set yet.

Looks like a fun sort of madhouse though. :) I might wander by just to look at the pitches.

Even if you have queries out, it can be worthwhile for some of the rest of you to wander over and watch. Why? Because even after an agent and publisher are signed up, there's always that all important catalogue copy to think about, for both US and translation offers. Even though an editor or agent will be writing that copy, it's useful to be able to think about future buyers seeing your book concept in just a few words and know what intrigues people.

Sage
04-09-2014, 04:29 PM
PitMad story :)

I only received one favorite this time around (I have put those same books in PitMad 3 times before, so I wasn't expecting much). It was from an editor at an excellent publisher I never would have thought my book was right for. I sent the query, she asked for the full. I sent the full, and now I'm doing an R&R for her after a very positive phone call. Sure, I could have queried this editor at any time. But without PitMad, I would have never thought to do so.

hikarinotsubasa
04-09-2014, 05:07 PM
Not sure when the next #pitmad is, but there should be a "Pitchmas in July" contest, with a similar Twitter pitch party c on the #pitchmas hashtag. There may be another #pitmad in the summer too... if you follow Brenda Drake I'm sure she'll tweet about it when it's decided.

Fizgig
04-09-2014, 05:27 PM
Also adding that I've connected with a bunch of other writers working on interesting stuff through pitmad.

Wilde_at_heart
04-09-2014, 05:44 PM
Does anyone know when the next #pitmad is? I've finally got a [high-concept, I hope] ms which I can sum up in 140 chars, and I'd like to be ready in time! Thanks :)

They're four times a year, so the next one is likely in just under three months. Follow Brenda Drake in the meantime.

Another one to watch is #askagent. It's not for pitching, but you can ask agents specific questions about querying in general. It's a good way of researching them too.

In the meantime you can put a hashtag that you're actively querying, along with your pitch, in case anyone decides to look at your profile.

SK0609
04-11-2014, 01:52 AM
Since I was one of the original hosts of PitMad, I thought I would jump in here. :) (Brenda and I started PitMad together years ago. I took this one off because I've got a book coming out and another one due and didn't have time to devote to it, but anyway.)

From what I gathered from our agents participating in previous years, the PitMad entries kind-of move to the top of the pile. That's because #1, the pitch has already gained their interest as something they should take a closer look at. Sometimes a pitch is so awesome the agent is jumping up and down to see the full query/partial after the initial pitch. That might not have happened if you had simply queried, since your query might be sitting at the bottom (or middle) of an already ginormous submission in-box. So it kinda gives you "cuts" in line, IMO.

On the other hand, this isn't saying not to query directly and through normal routes. Agents give each query the same amount of time and attention. It might just take a bit longer to get to yours if they aren't already on the look-out for it.

Again, this is just my two cents as a previous (and future) PitMad host.

Oh, and for the record, my book deal for my upcoming release was a result of a pitch during a Twitter pitch session.

Again, just my two cents :)



So today is PitMad on twitter. It's a chance to pitch your MS in under 140 words. If an agent favorites your pitch, they normally welcome a query and sample pages.

Here's the part that has me scratching my head. Most, if not all, of these agents are open to queries anyway. Is there any advantage to having them see a pitch first. Am I looking at this wrong?

My concern is that I am seeing agents favoriting fifty or more pitches. So doesn't that mean they will have a crazy full inbox tomorrow? Could I be insuring that an agent has less time to look at my query if I do one of these pitch parties?

I would love to hear this from an agent's perspective. Do the queries you get through PitMad receive more careful consideration. Is there an advantage to pitching?

I haven't started querying yet so I don't have a hat in this race. I would be really interested in the answer though.

LadyA
04-12-2014, 06:41 PM
Thanks everyone! I think I will definitely enter #Pitmad when the time comes - so long as my betas don't find a million and one things wrong with the ms and I have to rewrite it all ;)

Putputt
04-12-2014, 09:46 PM
I entered PitchMas and got a couple of full requests from it. They both resulted in a no, but it was all fairly quick, and one of the agents came back with helpful comments about what didn't work for her and an invitation to submit other MSs to her. I was already querying at the time and ended up signing with a different agent, but I'd say that the replies from PitchMas definitely came a lot faster than those that came from regular queries.

aus10phile
04-14-2014, 09:15 PM
I will say, some books work better for a pitch contest or Twitter pitch party than others. It's just not many words/characters to get a whole book across. I felt like I had to work pretty hard to get the one agent favorite that I got from this last contest (writing tons of diff. pitches, tweeting all day). I'm not sure how many favorites would be considered extremely successful. One feels good, but doesn't feel like a home run by any means! Querying the traditional way has felt much more successful to me.

That said, come July if I'm still looking for an agent, I'll try it again. And I would try it for other books, too, if I don't find a long-term agent with this attempt.

ReflectedGray
04-15-2014, 02:16 AM
They have crazy busy inboxes anyway. Frankly, I think the question you should be asking is “can it hurt”? They expressed an interest. GREAT! Send it. That’s a lot better than sending it to an agent with absolutely no interest.

To me, it seems like an effortless way to get a sense of who might be interested. Maybe it will help to refine your agent search.

TerryRodgers
04-16-2014, 12:38 AM
I hadn't heard about the PitMad until the fall. I did the ones at the end of the year. I not only received several requests from Pitmad and PitchMAS, but two of the requests turned into Revise & Resubmits. Two other fulls, bumped from 3 chapter partials, are still out. I've spent the last two months revising. One more pass through and out it goes.

I missed the twitter PitMAS because I thought the PitchMAS blog on Brenda Drakes site was the same thing. That one was a little different and posted the top 75 queries on the site and then agents favorited them if they wanted to see more. The two agents that requested from them, I had never gotten responses from on my first two novels. I posted the link. So far, from the PitchMAS blog contest 10 success stories.

http://pitchmas.blogspot.com/

Tromboli
04-16-2014, 07:46 AM
The next one is in May, I believe.

Good luck, Sage! I'd love to hear a new success story from you soon :)

Jo Zebedee
04-16-2014, 10:27 AM
I'm with the don't neglect a conventional query, too, crowd. It's easy to feel you have a stinker when you don't get favourites etc - I have had one request from about six rounds of various twitter comps, but four requests for fulls from conventional queries, and agent representation. Some books sing on the pitmad, some don't, so don't feel it's the be all and end all if it bombs. :)