Post #pitmad Thoughts

The #pitmad prep post I put up yesterday seemed to be well-received so I thought I’d do a post-#pitmad wrap-up while everything is fresh in my mind.

General Thoughts

JFC, read the guidelines! And follow them! (I’m probably preaching to the choir here though)

While watching the tweets go by, there was a constant stream of people not following the basic guidelines. They’re only hurting themselves by doing this, as I explained in yesterday’s post. It’s a good general lesson for me that I re-learn every quarter while hosting #pitmad: If you follow all the directions, you’re already in the top tier of applicants. In pretty much any context.

If you don’t like the rules, you don’t have to participate! You also don’t have to send passive-aggressive tweets to the people volunteering their entire day to help run the event.

#pitmad is a great learning opportunity, even if you’re not participating. If there’s an agent who participated today who you’d like to work with, here’s a great activity to do right now: Go to their page, click to see their likes, and see what kind of books they’re interested in. Take a look at the most popular posts on the hashtag to see what’s getting a lot of attention. (Also notice how they FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES.)

It’s also a great opportunity to make writer friends who are in a similar stage of the process. I saw so many new friendships spark today because someone said something nice to a stranger about their pitch.

If You Received Requests

Please make sure to research thoroughly before submitting materials. I wrote a post for the Pitch Wars blog on exactly how to do that.

Whether it’s scams or just people not great at their jobs, there are a lot of agents/editors out there that can harm your career. Please be careful and shrewd. Also please remember that the Pitch Wars volunteers cannot do your research for you. Please don’t ask them to.

If  your current goal is to find a literary agent, I wouldn’t recommend submitting to the really small presses. It’s not a good idea to submit to both agents and small presses at the same time — you need to decide which path you’re pursuing. Trying to do both at the same time is asking for trouble.

If You Didn’t Receive Requests

It’s okay! I promise. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your book. We saw over 138,000 tweets today (I don’t know how many of them were RTs). That’s a lot of hay for agents to sort through to find their favorite needles.

Try not to be hyper-negative in public spaces. It’s okay to feel sad for a day, but you may want to keep that to private discussions with friends.

This wasn’t just the right opportunity for you. There are so many others out there, including traditional querying. Traditional querying works! That’s the way most agents find their clients because… it works.

Thank You!

Thank you all so much for participating in #pitmad and making it an overall incredible event and rewarding experience.  And thanks so much to Leigh Mar for running the show and Laura Lashley and Brenda Drake for helping out!

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