Posts Tagged ‘WriterPitch’

WriterPitch screen

Okay, everyone.  You can relax now.  Help has arrived in the form of WriterPitch.com.  Samantha Fountain’s vision of a platform for authors to promote their unpublished books to agents in the market has been realized.  It’s like a directory of pitches, organized and searchable by fiction/non-fiction, category (Adult, YA, MG, etc.), genre and keyword.  It has been up for about two days and already several authors have received requests from agents.

The obvious benefit to this set-up is that registered agents can window-shop the pitches, learn about the authors, sample a few of their blog posts, and if a pitch peeks their interest, they can read the first 250 words of the manuscript.  Only registered and vetted agents can see this.  So it’s secure.  And agents can tag pitches they’ve read so they don’t waste their valuable time reading them again later.

But there are a number of added benefits not immediately obvious to the casual observer.  And here is where Samantha’s genius shines. The site encourages you to tweet and post links to any author, pitch or blog post you like, so you can promote the books you’d like to see on the shelf some day.  And those pitches that get the most social media love get featured in the day’s Top Ten, along with the top writers.  Most popular agents get their own boost from sharing, too.

Don’t order yet; there’s more!  As a new author pitching his first book, I am somewhat overwhelmed by how much work needs to be done AFTER you’ve finished your book.  You have to craft a Twitter pitch and a logline and a query and a synopsis and the first 250 words and….  What WriterPitch provides is a community.  A place where writers both seasoned and raw can mingle and read one anothers’ pitches and queries.  A place where you can comment and promote those that inspire you, and receive comments from others whom you’ve inspired.  And you can see what’s out there, and what’s working, and who’s in the same place you are.

Samantha didn’t just create a space.  She created a universe.

If you’re a writer, I encourage you to create your free profile and get your pitch out there.  If you’re an agent, I invite you to go window-shopping, and bring your wish list. And if you’re anybody at all, I hope you will take a peak at my pitch and tell me what you think.

Better yet, tell the world what you think. This is going to change everything.

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I haven’t really posted much about actual writing lately because I have spent the last month or so in query hell, and the last two weeks in the twitterverse. And I THINK it is going to have been uber-productive for me. I wrote a couple of blog posts* about it, but there’s a new thing I wanted to share with my brother and sister writers. This is HUGE.

Fellow writer Samantha Fountain started #AgentMatch, which is a twitter contest (like many others) where writers with complete manuscripts can submit a pitch and the top 50 orso are selected by a team of editors and writers and posted online by genre or category, and agents can then look at these vetted pitches and request partials or full manuscripts from the authors. Many writers have gotten representation this way.

When I started looking into the writer/query community on Twitter, I had missed this by like two days.

But Samantha was just getting started. Her latest project (which officially launches on March 2) is called WriterPitch.com, and it is essentially a website directory of writers and their pitches (for completed manuscripts), where agents can shop for manuscripts that match their needs/likes/wants/wishes. You’ve seen Writer’s Market and the Guide to Literary Agents; imagine a directory of writers with manuscripts seeking representation – a directory for agents to find writers. The last two weeks has been a series of daily contests on Twitter to get into the launch of this site on March 2. After the launch authors can join at any time, but I got caught up in the excitement and managed, against long odds, to get into the select group of authors to be included in the launch. I’m very excited about this.

Now, you should have no illusions — these various agent/writer “dating services” don’t make it more likely for a book that’s not ready or a bad pitch to be accepted by an agent. What it does do it speed up the process and get your book in front of more eager agents sooner. The normal process is to send out your query to an agent unsolicited, hopefully including some tidbit from your research that suggests your book is what they have been looking for, and then you wait until your submissions crawls its way to the top of the slush pile and hope this happens on a good day. And you do this over and over again. Potentially lots of hit-or-miss. But with these contests, the agents are actively seeking the books. And when you get a nibble, you can then send your full query to these agents AS A RESPONSE TO A DIRECT INVITATION. This puts you on the top of the pile on day one.

So I’m stoked.

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The website will work like this: For writers, you will have your own author page which you can customize with contact/social info, a blog, your bio, and as many pitches as you have manuscripts. The sit will periodically provide questions you can answer (or not) to help fill out your profile. Agents will be able to locate you (your manuscripts) by category and genre, and with a single click can read the first 250 words of your book (only registered agents can do this). With another click they can request a partial or full of your manuscript with a personalized e-mail. You can likewise search through the registered agents, get their contact/social info, and see their wish list (called Agent Cravings). Agent pages will be similar to writer pages in that they are customizable and offer useful information to querying writers.

The site’s homepage will feature the authors/pitches that have been shared the most by agents via social media, as well as the agents who’s profiles have been shared by writers the most via social media, both updated daily.

If you are ready and interested, here are the details from Samantha Fountain’s blog. Also, here are the Twitter and Facebook pages for WriterPitch.

I hope to see lots of writers on there! And I hope this inspires even more of you to finish and polish your book.

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*Successful Writers Have a Special Kind of Madness — It’s Called Pitch Madness, and It’s a Thing
and
The Madness Continues — More Writerly Twitter Things