Monday, August 18, 2014

Making Your Twitter Pitch Sparkle by Author Emily Ungar









This entire sentence is all the room you have to create a Twitter pitch--so you need to make every space count, and don’t forget the hashtag!

It’s true. The entire sentence above is 140 characters, the maximum length of a Tweet. It may sound like plenty of room to attract the eye of an acquisitions editor or literary agent, but once you get to typing, that’s not quite the case. You have a lot of elements to cram into your Tweet. But once you include the basic info, you’re not done yet. This isn’t like high school homework, in which you’re doing just enough to get by. You need to include words that stand out in an endless Twitter feed. Because when you’re looking in a jewelry case, won’t your eyes automatically land on the most sparkling gem?

Get the Basics Down

When you’re pitching, you need to lay the groundwork first. Be sure to include:

Hashtag. Please don’t forget this! Pitch contests include a very specific hashtag. If you don’t use it, no one will see it. Watch for typos, too. #ThrowMeAnElevatorPitch can accidentally become #ThrowMeAnElevatorPinch. Not only will your pitch go unseen, you’re asking for trouble. Because no one wants to be pinched on an elevator.

Genre/Category. Many pitch contests include multiple categories. Know the common abbreviations for the audience you write for. The most common are: PB (picture book), CB, (chapter book), MG (middle grade), YA (young adult), WF (women’s fiction), NA (new adult), SF (science fiction), and UF (urban fantasy). Use the appropriate acronym so you’ll be seen easily and look like you know what you’re doing (even if you don’t). This is also a space saver. If you write out MG instead of middle grade, you’ve just saved yourself 10 characters to use on a more eye-catching word.

Follow the rules. In most contests, the only users who “favorite” Tweets are the editors and agents who are looking to read your material. Don’t get anyone’s hopes up or generate confusion. If there’s a pitch you’d like to support, don’t “favorite” it. Retweet it to help those editors and agents see that pitch.

Polish Your Gems

Bring Out the Quirks. Sorry, but “young woman in love must save boyfriend from impending doom” is a yawn. Even if that is a quick summary of your plot, you’re selling yourself short. What’s special about your main character, plot, or stakes? Does your main character only walk on stilts? Will her love interest be forced to forever live inside the windmill at a miniature golf course if she doesn’t fight the villain? Be specific, and throw out anything that’s different. Being vague will not earn you as many pitches. Make it quirky. If it’s not quirky, at least make it different. 

They’re not Blue Stones. They’re Sapphires! In a Tweet, every word counts. How can you make your Tweet sparkle? You’re a writer, so this is no time to slack on creativity. Use eye-catching words and concepts that aren’t conventionally paired together. The “blonde cheerleader” is a cliche, but “blonde cheer priestess” is probably not. Make someone do a double take when they read it!




As Twitter pitch contests gain popularity and help to match more and more writers with editors and agents, the art of crafting the perfect pitch is constantly evolving. Be creative, be brief, and follow the rules. Good luck throwing out that first pitch!














ABOUT THE BOOK:







On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.

Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.

All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?

**Available for purchase through Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon**











Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at http://www.emilyungar.com.








10 comments:

  1. Hi Donna and Emily - what a great post about using Twitter and the hashtag - I don't use Twitter, but keep an eye as to what I need to do when I eventually put my toe in the water!

    Savannah sounds as though she's created a wee problem ... I hope she can find a way through the hoop ... interesting story line ... good luck with the book and cheers - Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary! I agree...Emily gave some great twitter tips!

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  2. Such great advice. Now I WILL be able to sound like I know what I'm doing, even if I don't! AND i wond have to get pinched in elevators..... :)

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    1. Hi Geneviere! If I'm going to get pinched in an elevator, HE better be a cutie! ;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi there! Since I received a book contract off a Twitter pitch, I'm going to reread Emily's post to make sure I don't forget anything for the next time I pitch one of my stories...;~)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  4. I should have come here first. When you mentioned yesterday about your PB I didn't comment because I didn't know what it was, but now I do, Congratulations!

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    1. Hi JP! It's been a long time coming and now it's almost here. THE STORY CATCHER will come out in both ebook and hardcover but right now I working with my publicist to gear up for the January release date. Fingers crossed that this is the first of many more to come ...;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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  5. Donna, thanks again for featuring me on your blog, and I'm so glad that your readers enjoyed the post. I know you all will create some awesome pitches! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Emily, for the great post. I took lots of notes...;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!

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