More on Twitter pitch events… Da Etiquette
I’m not an expert, just another writer trying to navigate the jungle of getting and agent and getting published. In that quest, I’ve been finding my way through Twitter Pitch Valley, and in the interests of #WritingCommunity, I’m offering what I’m figuring out in the hopes it might be helpful to someone else. First, because it’s that important, Da Etiquette.
As mom used to say, “Manners matter.” There is etiquette to Twitter pitch events. If you don’t follow it, you will probably get chastised, and may find yourself banned, so it’s worth noting.
1) Be thou not a jerk. Criticize not the pitches of other participants.
2) Follow thou the rules. If allowed three pitches, confine yourself to three. If allowed six, whoopee! Do six. Not seven. Read Da Rules and follow same.
3) Seriously, be thou not a jerk. Don’t criticize the worthiness of other participants, or their right to participate.
For example, one pitchfest for books is #DVpit. For writers from marginalized groups, such as the disabled. It’s on the honor system and if someone cheats they will be found out, but it’s not for you to make that call. If you personally know this participant and have concerns you can politely DM, I suppose, but otherwise? Leave ya nose outta it.
4) Only “like” a pitch if you are a legit agent or editor and wish to see the manuscript. That’s how this works. If not, some allow you to retweet pitches you like. Some ask you not to. Read and follow Da Rules.
If allowed to RT pitches you like, it’s a nice way to show support.
So it follows that you do NOT “like” your own pitches, as you are not an agent looking to see your own manuscript.
5) Be not a daft twit. Check Da Rules. If it’s a genre thing, be sure you legit fit somewhere in that genre before you participate. If you don’t know what the genres are and where you fit, for crying out loud, do some research.
If it’s for left-handed writers and you can’t even brush your hair left-handed, stay out of it. If it’s for Women’s Fiction and your book is about a guy who hates women and kills people with a dinner fork, stay out of it.
6) Time marches on — and you need to know which way. Most of those I’ve seen are Eastern Standard Time. If you live otherwhere than the east coast of the United States, plan accordingly. If it ends at 8 pm EST and you post your pitch at 8 pm PST, It’s 11 pm where the organizers are and nobody will see your post.
7) Don’t take any of this too seriously. Just seriously enough. Do your homework. Follow the rules. Set up your pitch event calendar so you don’t forget when the next one is coming. Get your pitches ready and polished. Be ready to tweet when the time comes… then relax. You may or may not get requests. The requests may or may not pan out. It’s a chance, not a guarantee. You can still query agents traditionally whether they request you through the event or not. Enjoy life. Don’t let your happiness hang on this. Take the chance because it’s a chance, then take the next one, until one pans out.