#PitMad and Getting That First Novel Published

Twitter is a wonderful thing. I use it to network with other scientists, other authors, and others who are affected in one way or another by autism. I use it to promote my own work, in research or fiction. I also use it in teaching, as a complement to traditional ‘office hours’ and ‘review sessions.’ I enjoy it as an opportunity to ‘hang out’ with the global community.

As an newbie in the world of fiction writing, I find Twitter to be an amazing resource. There are so many helpful and friendly people out there, authors, agents, and publishers. There’s just a wealth of knowledge out there, all in 140-character bursts!

Once in a while – and I’m not sure how these events get planned – there are ‘Pitch Madness’ events on Twitter. Authors can pitch their novels in single tweets with the hashtag #PitMad, and agents with peruse the pitches and request more information about the ones they like. One such event was yesterday. I spent the day pitching my books Prince of Herongarde and The Masters, neither of which are published.

Pitching a novel in one tweet is hard, but somehow I got two requests from agents, both for the book Prince of Herongarde. There were no takers for The Masters (though I wonder if that’s because I haven’t really identified what the main theme of the story is yet.)

For fun (and because it’s pretty-much all I’ve been thinking about for the last 24 hours), I thought I might list here the various pitches I used for each book.

I’ll point out that each pitch included three hashtags, one indicating it was for Pitch Madness (#PitMad), one for the genre of the book (#SF = science fiction, #SpecFic = speculative fiction), and one for the target age group (#A = adult). There are two reasons to do this. 1) It helps agents target stories that they really want to represent and 2) it give you a way to send the ‘same’ tweet more than once. It seems that Twitter won’t let you keep tweeting the same thing over and over again, but if you re-arrange the hashtags, it’s a new tweet. So I could tweet each pitch at least a dozen times. The downside to this, though, is that your pitches have to be that much shorter, maybe 120 characters.

Here are the pitches for Prince of Herongarde. Pitches one and two are the ones that earned requests. Some of the others got re-tweets and comments.

  1. He had no intention of being King, nor of falling in love again. Her foreign and infuriating manners changed his mind. #SpecFic #A #PitMad
  2. It had to be a dream when her car, phone, and husband were replaced with horses, swords, and a knight. It wasn’t. #SpecFic #A #PitMad
  3. When a 21st century, middle-aged woman finds herself in war-torn Medieval Europe, a nation, and its Prince, are saved. #SpecFic #A #PitMad
  4. She’s a 21st century academic. He’s a 14th century Prince. Together they’ll save a medieval nation. #SpecFic #A #PitMad
  5. The Prince, consumed by pain and rage, finds refuge in war. There, he rediscovers himself with a most unlikely woman. #PitMad #SpecFic #A
  6. It was ridiculous. She should be lecturing, not slaughtering with swords. But the Prince must be protected. #PitMad #SpecFic #A
  7. She was a university scientist. He was a medieval Prince. It was an unlikely romance. With swords. #A #SpecFic #PitMad
  8. She traded science for a longsword. He traded bitterness for love. War brought them together, and revived a weary Prince. #SpecFic #A #PitMad
  9. The Prince, consumed by pain and rage, finds refuge in war. There, he rediscovers himself with a most unlikely woman. #PitMad #SpecFic #A

Here are the pitches for The Masters. There were no comments, favorites, or retweets here. This book needs some work, methinks.

  1. Marshall thought the DUI was bad. The Masters were worse. But somehow, he’d escape, and take Katrine with him. #A #SF #PitMad
  2.  The Clastad looked pleasant, but meant to enslave men. The Zhaat were hideous but friendly. Marshall just wanted to go home. #A #SF #PitMad
  3. His privileged life as a movie star ended with being dragged to the stars by The Masters. Would he ever get back home? #A #SF #PitMad
  4. The Masters meant to break Marshall’s spirit, but his love for Katrine was more powerful than anything they had. #SF #A #PitMad
  5.  When The Masters came, Marshall was stripped of everything. But they couldn’t take his love, and he meant to get her back. #A #SF #PitMad
  6. Marshall’s capture by The Masters put everything in perspective. Only one thing mattered, Katrine. He meant to get her home. #A #SF #PitMad

So that’s the lot of them. Like I said, I got two requests for Prince of Herongarde, but nothing for The Masters. I don’t think I pitched the second book very well. I’ll work on that.

What do you think?

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