For the uninitiated #PitMad is a Twitter event which happens four times a year. It has also spawned a lot of other similar hash tag events such as #sffpit and #carinapitch, but the idea being this is a 12 hour period for folks to boil their new book down to less than 140 characters and put it out on Twitter. During this 12 hours and usually a day or two thereafter, agents, publishers, editors and other such folks look through the pitches and if they have interest they give the pitch a 'favorite' and instructions for how to submit the book. The whole event is chaotic and crazy and lots of fun even if you aren't participating.
Yep, you heard that last line right. #PitMad is worth popping in and seeing even if you aren't ready to pitch. And a note to that, if your manuscript is not completed, polished, edited, polished some more and as good as you can make it you're not ready. Now, if you're not ready there are good reasons to attend anyway, which I'll get to, but there is also a really good reason NOT to attend. If you can't resist the siren lure of joining in and tossing out a pitch when you're not ready then stay far away. Because you want to pitch when you're ready, not when you could end up sending out a manuscript that isn't ready because someone thought it sounded interesting and now they see a manuscript that they don't want because it was hastily completed instead of one they would have wanted in two months when it was actually done.
Provided you can resist this, here are reasons to at least check the tag out.
1: You can get a feel as to which agents are there and sometimes what they're looking for. They'll list submission guidelines and you can follow the agents on Twitter to learn more.
2: You can get a good feel as to what is popular right now. What are other people writing and how does your manuscript fit into that?
3: You can meet a lot of people and build your network of authors which can lead to beta readers, reviews, critique partners and general awesomeness. This event is all about writers and agents coming together, but there's no reason writers can't come together too.
Is the event perfect? Nope. It's very spammy and you can really get sucked in all day if you let yourself. I expect we'll continue to see streamlining as it goes forward and some agents would really rather you just query them directly, always do your research and follow guidelines! However I still believe #PitMad is worth a visit and can be really exciting and inspirational to your writing.
The next one will be in June. I hope to see you there. You can find me on Twitter @janastocks.