Twitter pitch parties: pro tips, etiquette, and character-counting template (#IWSG Blog Hop)

Twitter Pitch Parties: Pro tips, etiquette & character counting template

This is it kids. We’ve reached the critical point in history when Twitter pitch parties (pitching your manuscript in 140/280 characters, including the pitch party and genre hashtags) have become one of the main ways to pitch directly to literary agents and publishers. In fact, some agents and publishers are closed to unsolicited queries, and so the only way to get their attention is through Twitter pitch parties and face-to-face pitch sessions at literary conferences.

First, I’ll share a few pro pitch party tips that you may or may not be aware of, and below that, some general etiquette regarding pitch parties. At the very bottom, I’ve linked a free Excel/Google Docs template in which I’ve already added character-counting formulas. Use this to draft and schedule your pitches.

Pro pitch party tips:
Twitter Pitch Parties: Pro tips, etiquette & character counting template #WritingTips #writers #authors-Twitter keeps some of its rules hidden. They don’t tell you this, but they are rumored to delete duplicate tweets tweeted within a 24-hour period. So draft several pitches and move hashtags around so that your pitches aren’t exact duplicates.
-Certain words trigger Twitter’s sensitive-content filters, which means that your tweet will show as blocked content to anyone who has their Twitter settings set to “hide sensitive content.” I don’t have a list of these word, and I expect that it’s dynamic, so you’ll have to use your judgment. Twitter’s media policy also states that it “can identify potentially sensitive content that others users (their typo, not mine) may not wish to see, such as violence or nudity.”
-Use a tweet scheduler like Tweetdeck, which is free, and make sure your time zone is set properly. Tweetdeck is linked to your time zone account settings in Twitter.
-Ask your critique partners to critique your pitches. If you’re paying an editor to critique your query letter, have them critique your pitches as well.

General pitch party etiquette:
-Every pitch party has its own rules. Read them carefully, and expect that they will change, so go back for a refresher the day before the event.
-Some pitch parties allow media (images/jpegs/video) and others do not. The reason is how much room they take up. Imagine you’re an agent or a publisher, and you open Twitter on your phone expecting to be able to scroll quickly through all the wonderful pitches. But instead of a streamlined process, you find it tedious because of ALL THE SCROLLING you have to do because of ALL THE MEDIA. It’s even worse if the agent or publisher is scrolling on their desktop, where media is full size. And by the by, posting media when it’s against the particular pitch party’s rules annoys your fellow participants as well, because they know agents and publishers are only going to stay until they get scroll fatigue, then they’re out.
-Space your tweets out, even if the rules don’t specifically say to. And if you have multiple books, don’t post them back to back. Otherwise, you risk giving agents and publishers the impression that the event isn’t well attended, because they’re only seeing one author over and over again, and they may leave earlier.
-Don’t tweet on the party hashtag during the event unless it’s a pitch or you really really need to. “Good luck, everyone!” tweets are great, but try to get them in before or after the event hours, again so that agents and publishers aren’t scrolling needlessly through tweets that aren’t pitches. Think of it this way: agents and publishers only have so much time to dedicate to scrolling through pitches, and if you tweet a “Good luck!” message that they have to scroll through, that’s one less pitch they’re going to have time (or the inclination) to read.
-Don’t do THIS when an agent or publisher favorites your pitch: hit reply with, “Thanks for favoriting my tweet! #eventhashtag” This is demoralizing for the other participants who haven’t received any favorites, because it shows up in the main event hashtag feed. I would advise not thanking the agent or publisher on Twitter anyway (unless they reply to your tweet or direct message you), but if you feel like you need to type words to an agent/publisher after they favorite your pitch, definitely don’t include the event hashtag.
-Don’t pitch after the event finishes. Some agents and publishers scroll through pitches after the event has finished, and logically, they’re viewing pitches in reverse chronological order. It’s not fair to the other participants if you load the after-hours event hashtag with pitches to increase your chances of being seen.

Twitter pitch party character-counting templates:
Twitter Pitch Party Template
Google Docs

I wrote this post for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To continue hopping or to join the hop, click here. (There are more than 200 of us, and it’s fun!)

I’d love to hear about your experiences with pitch parties. Have you tried any? Do you have any additional tips to offer? Let me know in the comments.

46 thoughts on “Twitter pitch parties: pro tips, etiquette, and character-counting template (#IWSG Blog Hop)

      1. iPhone did a new software update yesterday & there are a few bugs I’ve noticed. I tried to comment earlier too & couldn’t unless I was literally in my WordPress account


  1. Twitter really is weird about what counts as sensitive content. Right now the record is a photo of a 90 year old holocaust survivor’s number tattoo. (There wasn’t any other visible injury.) But I got a warning, anyway. I rarely agree with Twitter’s choices on that, in either direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! These are great tips! To be honest, I am a complete newbie at this and this is the first time I’ve heard of a twitter pitch party. How do I find out when the next pitch party will happen?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rainey!
    I LOVE this idea! In fact, I just posted a lengthy comment on your post when it popped up on my email subscriptions, BUT it kicked me out because apparently I entered an incorrect password & I wasn’t posting from my WordPress account. Ugh!
    I’ll try to recollect the gist from my original message.
    🤠 I especially like your emphasis on Twitter “rules” – especially important during live chats such as a networking group or a pitch party (i.e.,hashtag protocol, spam, respect, support, engagement with people, & most importantly… ETIQUETTE). Live chats are great fun & informative… I think it’s a great idea, but robotic trolls do exist 😡 & there is nothing worse than dealing with egos, robotic auto posts, direct messages, & other self serving behavior with no human interaction. I suppose that’s why the block button is sometimes handy! I’d be happy to help if need be!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped using tweet apps (tweet bot & tweet deck) a few years ago when glitches would often occur, so these days I just follow the hashtag feed & am able to keep up. Only time I have to retype the #hashtag onto a tweet is if I’m replying to someone specifically. I often comment using the “quote tweet” for info & answers too – depending on topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Raimey,

    Thanks for the tips of pitching on Twitter. I’ve never tried it, but I’ve heard a lot of good things from my writing buddies. Maybe one day I’ll put on my big girl panties and try it. I’ll check out TweetDeck because I need a better schedule when it comes to posting on my social media accounts.

    Keep smiling,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Yawatta! I wouldn’t say that Tweetdeck is efficient if you have a great volume of tweets, but it’s free, which is great if you want to schedule one day’s worth of tweets, say for an event like a pitch party. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never done a Twitter pitch. I’m in a chat group and the ladies there have all participated at one time or another. They’ve been trying to convince me to try, but as of now I don’t have anything I want to pitch since my next book is set to be self-pubbed. Maybe next year.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t thank you enough, Raimey, for all the advice you provide for writers. I’ve shared this post online and will keep it for when my memoir is complete. Enjoy your week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Many twitter pitch events are read by agents AND editors(publishers). Before sending out queries to those who have “liked” your pitch, stop. Think about what publication path you want. If you really want an agent, think twice before sending queries to editors(publishers).

    Liked by 1 person

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