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Genres & Age Categories => Picture Books (PB) => Topic started by: justin-colon on January 16, 2018, 03:39 AM

Title: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 16, 2018, 03:39 AM
Hello. For those who have participated in #PITMAD and/or #PBPITCH (especially), would you mind sharing your experience with them?
What the team of #PBPITCH is doing for PB writers is awesome, but I see a lot of pitches from previous events but very few 'likes'.  Do many agents participate in #PBPITCH? I skimmed through and only saw three agent participants in the last contest.

I'm interested in both. I know #PITMAD is a big even. But I'm less familiar with #PBPITCH. Seems they each have their pros and cons. I'm not knocking either event. What they're doing is awesome. Just looking for more insight and info (mostly on #PBPITCH). Thanks.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: June Smalls on January 16, 2018, 06:17 AM
They both have events a number of times a year. Sometimes there are a ton of agents and editors, some times (especially around the holidays) there is significantly less.

I've have some 'favorites' from both events, but ultimately no offer of rep. However, these events are more than just hoping to get the attention of an agent. They are helpful in practicing a brief pitch, aka an elevator pitch. You can connect with others that write in your genre. And sometimes even joking back and forth (only when they start the conversation) with  an agent or editor can help remind us writers that those gatekeepers are humans too.

If you get 'favorites' you still need to do your research. There have been catfishing episodes, usually quickly nipped in the bud. There are also vanity presses that have fav'd work but ultimately want you to pay. Also, just research the agents and make sure they are someone you can see yourself working with. If you sign with an agent, they are making commission on you for the life of the book they sell. That author-agent relationship has to work long term.

Good luck if you participate.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: sarah-williams1 on January 16, 2018, 08:42 AM
I have participated in both, though I didn't get any 'likes' either time.  I found them great for really fine-tuning your pitch, especially as a picture book writer since a query letter pitch isn't going to be too much longer than your twitter pitch!  If you do get a 'like', you should be prepared with a fully polished manuscript and a query letter so you can immediately reach out to the agent(s)/editor(s).  From what I hear, delays in sending them materials can cause them to lose interest quickly.  I agree that they are great for connecting with other writers in your genre and the excitement level and encouragement is fun to watch.  I entered my first #PBPitch last November thinking, 'why not, I have nothing to lose'.  Which is technically true, but as I learn more, I have seen people caution writers not to pitch too early or too much since your twitter pitch carries max impact for only a total of 2-3 tries.  In other words, if you pitch the same ms in 8 different events, it will lose some of it's effect since many of the same people participate in these events.  It's just what I've heard though!  Good luck if you enter!
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: dkshumaker on January 16, 2018, 10:05 AM
Hi Justin,
I'm one of the cohosts of PBPitch so I thought I would chime in.

First, I definitely agree with what Sarah and June said about it being more than just a way to catch an agent's eye. It's a great way to build your writing community and a great way to just hone your pitch!

Second, we invite legitimate agents to each event, but since it is a public event and anyone can participate, yes, there are vanity presses and "schmagents" who will stop by and favorite pitches, so do go in with your eyes wide open and be prepared to thoroughly research before you submit if you get a favorite.

And sometimes an agent will tell us they hope to stop by and then they don't. Life happens, they are busy, something came up, or frankly, they stopped by for a few minutes and nothing caught their eye. I do think with the proliferation of Twitter pitch parties the last few years, they are getting more "selective" in their favorites. And yes, possibly tired of the pitches they see over and over again as both writers and agents participate in several events.

We have had success stories from every single event where writers signed with an agent or a publisher based on their PBPitch. But of course, it's not the only way to find an agent. I found my agent through a slush pile submission, though seeing her "hearts" on our event last February helped me know what she liked.  . .

Also, the feed moves by SO fast and their are thousands of pitches. I know you said that you only saw three agents for the last event in October, but a few of us watch the feed throughout the day as, at the end of the day, we like to "thank" the agents and editors who stop by, so I do know we had at least 8 or 9 agents stop by. . . again, they may be getting more selective in their likes, but they do stop by.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to post here. And good luck if you decide to join the party on February 22nd!
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on January 16, 2018, 08:15 PM
I do PBPitch as a lark. It's interesting to go through and see what, if anything, gets a like. I got one like and one rejection. It was lovely and constructive in a vague way. (The agent had no idea what might work to solve the problem. The problem was she feels the manuscript is missing something but she can't point to what. I can't either, but maybe someday I'll know.) Here's the thing, it only takes one agent to love your work. If it's the right agent, that is. So I look at what got a like and see if I can figure out why. But I also know a pitch is not a manuscript. I still need spectacular manuscripts. And I can still make a traditional pitch to folks who don't like my twitter pitch if I want to. I hope this helps.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: Teresa Writes! on January 16, 2018, 08:53 PM
I just want to add that even if you chose not to pitch something, these events are a ton of fun to follow. You can retweet pitches you like, and it can be a fun way to "meet" new writers.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: Schriscoe on January 17, 2018, 02:26 AM
I also just wanted to put a plug in for #PBPARTY. I am a cohost along with Michelle Hauck on it. We are possibly looking to do a contest in March/April. We allow 250 entries (timing for it to fill can vary from a few minutes to a few days), then we pick 25 (sometimes a few more) of our top picks to go on Michelle's blog for a nice list of agents to read and make requests. The agents are all legit, and very well respected in the kidlit world.

Be on the lookout for details to it. I'll place them on the boards, and Michelle will be tweeting about it.

Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: Limama on January 17, 2018, 07:58 PM
#PitMad is huge and open to all genres.

#PBPitch is exclusively for picture book writers and authors. (Psst, if you didn't know, I'm also a co-host with the divine Debra).

It only takes one yes. But remember, and I say this all the time, pitch parties is only ONE way to connect with agents.  The path to getting an agent is not a straight line, there can be twists and turns and road blocks and potholes. Since leaving my agent last year, I'm back in the query hunt, and even though I pitch in the parties, I'm still querying by email. You can't put your eggs all in one basket.

Next #PBPitch is 2/22/18, 8a-8p est.

 :goldstar :goldstar :love5 :stars3 :star2 :star2

Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: lisa-katzenberger on January 18, 2018, 03:02 AM
I second the plug for #PBParty -- I found my agent through that contest!
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:26 PM
I have participated in both, though I didn't get any 'likes' either time.  I found them great for really fine-tuning your pitch, especially as a picture book writer since a query letter pitch isn't going to be too much longer than your twitter pitch!  If you do get a 'like', you should be prepared with a fully polished manuscript and a query letter so you can immediately reach out to the agent(s)/editor(s).  From what I hear, delays in sending them materials can cause them to lose interest quickly.  I agree that they are great for connecting with other writers in your genre and the excitement level and encouragement is fun to watch.  I entered my first #PBPitch last November thinking, 'why not, I have nothing to lose'.  Which is technically true, but as I learn more, I have seen people caution writers not to pitch too early or too much since your twitter pitch carries max impact for only a total of 2-3 tries.  In other words, if you pitch the same ms in 8 different events, it will lose some of it's effect since many of the same people participate in these events.  It's just what I've heard though!  Good luck if you enter!

Thanks, Sarah. I have three polished manuscripts ready to go and one more is a WIP. I have three query letters done already, one for each of the completed manuscripts. I want to start crafting the pitches in advance. I agree about the practice. And thanks for letting me know about sending the manuscripts quickly after the pitches are 'liked'. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:29 PM
Hi Justin,
I'm one of the cohosts of PBPitch so I thought I would chime in.

First, I definitely agree with what Sarah and June said about it being more than just a way to catch an agent's eye. It's a great way to build your writing community and a great way to just hone your pitch!

Second, we invite legitimate agents to each event, but since it is a public event and anyone can participate, yes, there are vanity presses and "schmagents" who will stop by and favorite pitches, so do go in with your eyes wide open and be prepared to thoroughly research before you submit if you get a favorite.

And sometimes an agent will tell us they hope to stop by and then they don't. Life happens, they are busy, something came up, or frankly, they stopped by for a few minutes and nothing caught their eye. I do think with the proliferation of Twitter pitch parties the last few years, they are getting more "selective" in their favorites. And yes, possibly tired of the pitches they see over and over again as both writers and agents participate in several events.

We have had success stories from every single event where writers signed with an agent or a publisher based on their PBPitch. But of course, it's not the only way to find an agent. I found my agent through a slush pile submission, though seeing her "hearts" on our event last February helped me know what she liked.  . .

Also, the feed moves by SO fast and their are thousands of pitches. I know you said that you only saw three agents for the last event in October, but a few of us watch the feed throughout the day as, at the end of the day, we like to "thank" the agents and editors who stop by, so I do know we had at least 8 or 9 agents stop by. . . again, they may be getting more selective in their likes, but they do stop by.

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to post here. And good luck if you decide to join the party on February 22nd!

Thanks for the detailed response. Again, I'm not knocking anything you do. I'm just trying to do my research and be as informed as possible. I think what you're doing is awesome! If anything, it seems like it'll be a fun opportunity to perfect my pitches (and pitch-crafting skill). Thanks again.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:30 PM
I do PBPitch as a lark. It's interesting to go through and see what, if anything, gets a like. I got one like and one rejection. It was lovely and constructive in a vague way. (The agent had no idea what might work to solve the problem. The problem was she feels the manuscript is missing something but she can't point to what. I can't either, but maybe someday I'll know.) Here's the thing, it only takes one agent to love your work. If it's the right agent, that is. So I look at what got a like and see if I can figure out why. But I also know a pitch is not a manuscript. I still need spectacular manuscripts. And I can still make a traditional pitch to folks who don't like my twitter pitch if I want to. I hope this helps.

Thanks for the positive spin on this. And for sharing your experience. I agree. Going to give it a shot and start working on my pitches now.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:31 PM
I also just wanted to put a plug in for #PBPARTY. I am a cohost along with Michelle Hauck on it. We are possibly looking to do a contest in March/April. We allow 250 entries (timing for it to fill can vary from a few minutes to a few days), then we pick 25 (sometimes a few more) of our top picks to go on Michelle's blog for a nice list of agents to read and make requests. The agents are all legit, and very well respected in the kidlit world.

Be on the lookout for details to it. I'll place them on the boards, and Michelle will be tweeting about it.



This sounds incredible. I'm going to be following closely (hope to participate)! Thanks.
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:31 PM
Thanks.
#PitMad is huge and open to all genres.

#PBPitch is exclusively for picture book writers and authors. (Psst, if you didn't know, I'm also a co-host with the divine Debra).

It only takes one yes. But remember, and I say this all the time, pitch parties is only ONE way to connect with agents.  The path to getting an agent is not a straight line, there can be twists and turns and road blocks and potholes. Since leaving my agent last year, I'm back in the query hunt, and even though I pitch in the parties, I'm still querying by email. You can't put your eggs all in one basket.

Next #PBPitch is 2/22/18, 8a-8p est.

 :goldstar :goldstar :love5 :stars3 :star2 :star2



 I plan to be there!
Title: Re: #PITMAD and #PBPITCH
Post by: justin-colon on January 19, 2018, 03:31 PM
I second the plug for #PBParty -- I found my agent through that contest!

Congratulations!