The newest kidz on the block are Twitter pitch events where writers pitch their books in 140 characters or less to catch the attention of agents and publishers. If interested in reading more the agents and publishers like your pitch which is an invitation to query them.
Yes. You must go through the query process. But at least you have an invite and aren’t a stranger knocking at the gate.
Pitch Events are very competitive with only eight to ten percent of submitters gaining that coveted Twitter like. So what is it going to take to make your Twitter pitch shine? What do the agents and publishers look for.
Dan Kobel, an ardent supporter of SFFPit, says that they are looking for the main character’s name, the challenge they face and the stakes.
In 140 characters?
Well, it goes a beyond that because let’s face it. Your pitch is a marketing tool. And here I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you want to get the attention of agents and publishers you may have to write like a copywriter.
A copywriter employes in his or her bag of tricks a knowledge of emotional value words. (I linked to a post that shows some, not all Emotional Value Words.) These words trigger an emotional response in the reader. Hint. They are not the two hundred most common words in the English language.
But how do you know if the words you are using are high emotion words?
One of my favorite tools it the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer. This gem is handier than a sonic screwdriver to craft headlines, and as I found out, tweet pitches too.
Let’s look at a tweet pitch I crafted for September 7, 2017 PitMad event.
#PitMad Earth Ambassador Kaj Deder must untangle the mysteries of a doomed planet governed by a repressive theocracy #A #ER #SF #LGBT
EMV Score: 29.41%
And it returned this:
Your Headline’s EMV Score:29.41%
This score indicates that your headline has a total of 29.41 Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Words. To put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words.
And for comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50%-75% EMV words in headlines.
A perfect score would be 100%, but that is rare unless your headline is less than five words.
While the overall EMV score for your headline is 27.78%, your headline also has the following predominant emotion classification: Intellectual
Notice though that this contained emotional trigger words, clash, repressive, theocracy, secrets, mysteries, doomed. The more you can put it in helps the efficacy of your pitch.
Sometimes though, depending on how many pitches you are allowed you can switch up the pitch with something directly from the book.
For Forced Labor in a PitMad two year’s ago I wrote:
Arekan’s to do list: Save idiot from spacewalk-check, save ship from pirates-check get sleep-sigh-Novella-Jackman #SFFpit #NA #SO
EMV Score: 21.43%
As he travels the stars Arekan uses many names. It’s safer that way.-Novella-Jackman #SFFpit #NA #SF #SO
The EMV Score: 30.77%
If you want to see what other people submitted during a Twitter Pitch you can enter #pitmad (or any of the others), go down a far bit, (because people are still talking about Pitmad and hashtagging it,) and look at the ones that got hearts and the ones that didn’t.
You’ll see that ones that don’t get likes are too generic, don’t have emotional value words, don’t show the stakes, and at times sounds like a television show you’ve seen already.
Shoot to get above 20%. I suspect the closer you get to 30% or over the more likely it is an agent or publisher will heart your pitch. But caution, the analyzer ticks off points for more than five words and you aren’t writing a headline. It’s possible to shorten the pitch to improve the score and ruin your pitch. Keep your pitch within the 30 to 40% range should be sufficient to generate some interest in your post.
And for those that are looking for October (2017) Twitter Pitch events here is a list:
OCTOBER PITCH EVENTS: (As listed on misascottikole.com)
Gif Image from Giphy.com