This post first appeared on Thinking Through Our Fingers, a blog that I contribute to each month. To see the whole post, go here.
So I thought I'd talk a little bit about pitching. Not the baseball kind. The kind you can do in your pajamas, sipping apricot nectar, and scrolling through twitter. Have you seen the plethora of pitching opportunities that are available for authors these days? It is OUTstanding! (See what I did there? Did you??)
I could go through the many and varied opportunities over the course of the next six months. But John Berkowitz has already done that. You can see a pretty comprehensive list on his blog here.
Go see the advice I gave on preparing for and crafting your pitches.
What I really want to talk about is the opportunities that are out there now for writers. Yes, you can get discovered simply by querying. I know, because it's happened to me. But I have a #MSWL column in my tweetdeck that I check every day. If I see someone tweet that they want something similiar to what I've got, I submit it.
I've co-authored a book with a friend, and last week, I saw an opportunity to submit to a new editor at Carina Press. She was taking pitches on a blog post for that day only. If I hadn't checked, we would've missed the opportunity. She was offering feedback on your whole novel. And we were selected! So we got to send our MS in, and she's going to give us feedback on it. Free! A priceless opportunity.
So while I'm not hugely active on social media, I'm there, paying attention. I think it's a valuable skill all authors should use. Pay attention to what's going on out there. I've decided that the #PitMad and similar things aren't for my novel. I've participated in those before with my YA novels -- which seem to do better than my adult romance (which is what I'm focused on right now).
You don't need to blanket the Internet with your pitch. You don't need to enter every contest and opportunity out there. It's about playing smart. Swinging at balls you think you can hit. So I pay attention. I read the agent bios in contests. If I haven't queried them before, and I think they might be a fit, I add them to my list. Online contests are a great way to get noticed, but not the only way.
So be smart about it. If you have a novel in a genre that's hot, online pitches might be the way to get the attention you need. If you don't, you might do what I've done, and stick to querying privately.
Either way, you should be lurking on social media. You should be paying attention to the #MSWL feed, and check in with #PitMad and #PitchtoPublication and #QueryKombat. When you troll these threads, you'll see other hashtags that will lead you to more opportunities. It doesn't have to take a lot of time -- I get on once or twice each day and read until I'm caught up to what I've read before.
What are you paying attention to right now? Maybe I need to be watching that too!