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.