So, did you get swept up in the excitement of #Pitmad? It’s hard not to.
It’s a fun event with the potential to give you a slight edge up the other submissions in an agent’s inbox. Yup, that’s it: a slight edge. While a request on a pitch is a positive thing (and who doesn’t love the instant gratification of a favorite from an agent) there is no guarantee the agent is going to like the manuscript. Yes, of course, people have signed with an agent after having their manuscript requested through #Pitmad but if you participated and didn’t get a favorite, don’t despair. It doesn’t mean much of anything. Really.
(If you don’t know about #Pitmad you can read about it here.)
The #Pitmad feed moves quickly. Very quickly. And let’s be serious. Yes, agents do look in, but they aren’t going to read every pitch. No way. The feed is moving so quick skimming has to be done. Your pitch could have easily been missed by the very agent who is just dying to read a manuscript like the one you pitched.
Not only do you need to have your pitch in the right place at the right time, you have to have a great pitch and as you know, pitches can be hard (although our members did come up with some great ones and got them polished up with the help of other members in our Sub It Club submission support group!) Even if you have an excellent manuscript, your pitch may not have conveyed that, no matter how well you condensed it down to 140 characters.
Most all of the agents who participate in #Pitmad are open to submissions anyway. And there are definitely advantages to good old fashioned querying:
- You get to show a more well-rounded description of your work and yourself.
- Oftentimes you get to send some pages along with your query.
- You get a longer look than a pitch that’s flying by in a fast moving thread. Yes, agents can be quick when going over queries but not as quick as the #Pitmad feed–unless they’re superhuman!
- You can target the agents that YOU are interested in.
- When you query an agent you get to show them that you are keen on working with them specifically, not just trolling for anyone who is looking.
- You can reach agents who don’t participate in things like #Pitmad. Do good agents look in on #Pitmad and make requests? Sure they do. Are there good agents that don’t even bother with #Pitmad because they have enough to do already? Of course.
Sending out your work and asking agents to take you on as a client is a business transaction. Contests and pitches can be a fun way to break up the work of querying and can get you a little leg up at times, but remember, most writers and illustrators connect with their agents in the good ole slush pile. You can too.
#Pitmad is one crazy day of pitching madness. The regular business of querying can happen any day, when YOU are ready. Request or not, if you participated in #Pitmad, congratulations on putting yourself out there. That takes a lot of guts. Now, query on!
I was one of those who didn’t reap immediate rewards during Wednesday’s #Pitmad, but it was a good exercise.
Pitmad is a great exercise in tightening your pitch, that’s a reward in itself. 🙂
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Thanks so much, Heather, for the encouraging words. This is an excellent post-Pitmad Post. I hardly get to participate in these things because of my job so I always feel left out. The worst is the feeling that I may have lost out on an opportunity. So thank you for this.
Thanks Romelle. There is a lot of excitement around it but I don’t think you need to feel left out at all. Most of the agents really do take submissions anyhow. And if you ever really do want to participate you can always schedule so tweets to post throughout the day. Might be fun to try.
I so appreciate these wise and supportive words. I did not participate in this event this time, but as a writer newly stepping out into the world of submissions and navigating reaching out to agents I am so appreciative of articles like this that support and clarify the journey.
Glad to help you get clear on things. There is definitely a lot to consider. Each person has their own path to find.
So well said, 3011miles! Heather, this is a fantastic post. Your reasons for advocating plain-old-querying ring so true! My pitches didn’t get any response this time (except for RTs from supportive writers!) but my inbox yesterday had a request for a full….from one of those slush pile queries!
Mine did as well.
Hooray for a full request! Querying through the slush pile can definitely bring great results!
More brilliant encouraging words… it feels like I get to lie on a couch and get therapy reading your posts. Thanks Heather, for this, and all you do here x
Oh my, maybe I missed my calling! Should have taken more of those psychology classes in college. 😉
This year was my first #PitMad, and while I had no agent responses, I had an absolute blast connecting with other writers, and writing the pitches themselves. No disappointments at all, a few new leads to follow, and a realm of other fascinating writers to cheer on!
Thanks for the article – great follow-up and excellent points to consider as we query on!
There are definitely more benefits to participating in #Pitmad than just getting requests. Good for you, Val!