Pitch parties on Twitter have been around for a long time and although they were fun to follow, I stayed in the sidelines, mainly because I was not ready to jump in, but mostly because I was not sure whether they had any real worth.
Then people started getting exposure, knowledge and agents…
So I am here to tell you first that NO, a pitch party is not the only way to query an agent, and NO entering is not a guarantee that your book will get noticed. However, pitch parties have their advantages even if you do not garner an agent.
The few pitch parties that I follow are sponsored by well-known writers and agents and this alone is a big plus if you are trying to get your name out there. If you participate in the pre-pitch events, conversations and overall excitement you are sure to get the attention of other writers as well as agents and editors. You read their posts, they read yours and wahlah, somebody knows your name!
Writing is by nature a lonely business so participating in these party events can increase your network. And the more people who follow you on Twitter the better. A word of caution: I do not follow everyone who follows me simply because I am not interesting in being bombarded with requests to read or buy someone’s self-published book or whatever product they are selling. But if you are only concerned with your number of followers, go for it. A huge following is said to be good for your brand and I am sure it is. 🙂
People who participate in pitch parties are smart, well-read folks and you can learn from them. They often include links to pertinent writing information that can help you improve, not to mention the things you can learn during the actual pitching — like learning to explain what your story is about in 140 characters or less.
The few pitch parties I am aware of and/or participated in are run by relevant, well-respected folks in the publishing industry but beware that not all of them are legit. And not all of them promise agent/editor participation. Before you participate read the guidelines on the website so you don’t go in blindly.
I would highly recommend three parties – DVPit for marginalized writers, Pitmad for all writers and PitchWars for those who also want a mentoring component before querying.
The best thing I like about these particular pitch parties is that you can eliminate the guess work of querying the wrong person: the agents literally come to you! And isn’t it comforting to know that you are sending your work to someone who actually WANTS it. And get this, it’s free!
Honestly it doesn’t get better than that.
Now go out there and pitch that book!