Sunday, December 22, 2013

After the Twitter Pitch Contest Request

So...you participated in #pitchmas or #pitchmad or some other twitter pitch contest. Halleluiah, an agent or editor favorited your pitch!!

This is a great way to start a dialogue with publishing pros. Be aware, now that you're on their radar, they are going to be looking at your twitter feed, and likely your blog as well. Be sure you're presenting yourself in the most professional way possible. The way you conduct yourself online might make or break you at this point.

Jump up an down. Have a glass of wine. Be excited. But wait...Oh my gosh. Now what do you do?

Clearly you had a great short pitch. But here's what you need to do next.

Take a breath. You don't need to get them something the second after they request. However, you do need to get them something within a professional period of time. My rule of thumb would be within a couple of days, maybe a week at the most. This is why you really want to be sure your work is complete before you pitch.

After someone requests your work, you need to have something to send them.

1. You need to have a query letter--yes, you still need a professional query/cover letter.
2. You need to have a completed manuscript -- please make sure you have a completed MS before you pitch!
3. You might need a synopsis, not everyone requests a synopsis, but it's a good idea to have one.
4. When you're ready, send the query and whatever the requesting person has asked for (partial, synopsis, etc.). Be sure you mention the #pitch request in your subject line and the query. Be specific--there are a lot of these things happening these days. Remind them of the date and the hashtag. 
5. It's okay to send to your work to more than one person. If you have editors requesting, as well as agents, be sure to disclose that. I'm a big believer in full-disclosure.
6. As a general rule, you shouldn't be querying editors and agents simultaneously. My only exception to this rule is when something is specifically requested--but use your best judgement when it comes to submitting. In other words, if you're querying agents, and an editor requests from a twitter pitch contest, I would submit it to them and then tell the querying agents that it's with an editor as requested.

Now you wait. Good luck!

As a congratulations to anyone getting a request from a pitch, I'll do a query critique for someone who comments on this blog! I'll do a random number selection on Christmas Eve -- Tuesday -- at noon.




Kristine Carlson Asselin is a writer of contemporary YA & MG fantasy. She's the director of SCBWI-New England 2014. Her debut YA is due from Bloomsbury Spark in 2014--and the initial contact with Bloomsbury came from a twitter pitch contest. She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

18 comments:

JMD said...

Very helpful, thank you for writing this piece! Could you please also explain to those of us who are bright green what a good synopsis should contain? :D

Kristine Asselin said...

Great idea, JMD. I'll work on another post for that.

The quick answer it that the synopsis is the time for telling, not showing. Tell the story, from beginning to end (no cliff hangers). I usually aim for a two pager, hitting all the high-notes of the book.

agirlnamednat said...

Thanks for such an informative post. I've submitted three already, but wish I had read this before. While I think my query is strong, I've only tested it in forum's and not an agent or editor.

7a5ef016-6b2a-11e3-bcdf-000bcdcb5194 said...

Great advice. Twitter and blog pitch contests have been successful for me. Both of my contracts and many full requests started with a Twitter pitch.

Lauren said...

Thank you for this great advice. You answered many of my questions. #PitchMAS is such a fun, great opportunity and that moment when an agent requests (I was incredibly lucky to have that happen) was so exciting that I nearly forgot my name let alone professionalism. Thanks for all of the tips!!!

Lauren said...

Thank you for this great advice. You answered many of my questions. #PitchMAS is such a fun, great opportunity and that moment when an agent requests (I was incredibly lucky to have that happen) was so exciting that I nearly forgot my name let alone professionalism. Thanks for all of the tips!!!

Deirdre said...

Great post. This info is invaluable, especially the being patient part ;) Thanks for the critique offer too-- fingers crossed!

Giora said...

Thanks for your tips, Kristine, from someone who also follow your posts on Sporty Girl Books.

C.C. Dowling said...

Thanks for writing and sharing this.
I'd love a critique! :-)

Karen lee Hallam said...

So wonderful of you to do this. Merry Happy Holidays!
My query is getting a rework after the revisions on my MG/tween ms are finished. :)

reflectionoffaith said...

Thank you for all the good information and this wonderful opportunity!

Kathleen said...

Oh, I'd love a critique. I got two requests from editors during #pitchmas. Looking forward to their replies.

Jessica Miller said...

This is wonderful advice. I wouldn't have thought to include a query letter for work that was requested. Thanks!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great post. I received two requests, would love a query critique!

Kathy Halsey said...

Good info - especially the section on agent vs. editor requests! Know my blog needs help. Am on blogger, but feel your page looks much more professional! Any tips/ "how-to's/ suggestions on a good format? Would love to win a crit!

Emily said...

Great post, thank you! Entering PitchMAS was new for me, and I started worrying over the weekend if I mishandled any of my communication or disclosures regarding requested materials. Your post gave me reassurance that I did not. Thank you! ;)

Kristine Asselin said...

Happy New Year--everyone wins! I just looked at the comments, and I wanted to give everyone who wanted one, a query crit. Email me kris (at) gmail (dot) com with "query crit" in the subject line!

Holly Pettit said...

Thanks for this, Kris! It's a little more challenging during the holiday season to get those responses back in a professional period of time. Whew!