Giveaways Galore, Part 2!

Remember the “Crits from Rae” contest I put on during Pitch Wars? I don’t know about you guys, but I had fun doing it. Thus, from now on, I will be doing query (and pages!) critique giveaways on the 15th of every month! First round of pitching starts TOMORROW, January 14th! How It Works 1- You don’t have to follow my blog or me on Twitter. (Would I like it? Yes. Will I check? No.) This is open to anyone with a completed manuscript, regardless of category or genre. 2- Post your pitch to me on the hashtag #CritsfromRae on the 14th of each month between 12 am EST and 11:59 EST. Yes, you have an entire 24 hour block to Twitter-pitch. 3- I will pick one or two people to receive a free query critique from me. (If it sounds super interesting — and if I have time — I will throw in a full chapter critique, too!) 4- The winner(s) will be posted on my blog: http://bleedinginkinc.wordpress.com. 5- I will send the winner(s) instructions on what to do next. ALL critiques will be completed within a week. Cross my heart. My Disclaimers (READ THESE BEFORE YOU ENTER!) 1- I’m biased. I’m a human being. If I write something on your pitch/ms/submission, it is an observation/opinion from my perspective. It is not some universal truth that must be obeyed. Take my suggestions — and ANY suggestions you get — with a grain of salt. I do not know you. I do not know your story. I am a fresh set of eyes. (Those eyes just happen to have taken a few editing and writing classes. Also, I work for 1) an author and 2) four writing professors.) 2- I am not conspiring with anyone to steer you wrong, but I am not a genie that can instantly get you an agent. Manage your expectations, please. 3- I will not share your critique with anyone. 4- I am brutally honest. I am also not a monster — unless it is before 11 am. Seriously, I am not out to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am not going to beat around the bush. I’ve had to take my share of criticism, and I will have to take much more in the future. We all will. We deal with it. We go on. Please don’t fly into a rage and flame me or anyone I care about. (This goes for ANY criticism you receive from ANYONE. Even if you hate the advice, you say “thank you for your time” and move on.) 5- Querying is serious business, yes, but don’t let it drive you to...

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Twitter Pitching: Hard Numbers from #PitMad by Dan Koboldt
Jan13

Twitter Pitching: Hard Numbers from #PitMad by Dan Koboldt

Twitter Pitching: Hard Numbers from #PitMad by Dan Koboldt Last week, hundreds of aspiring authors took on a new challenge: pitching their completed manuscripts in 140 characters or less. The event was called #PitMad; the premise is fairly simple: throughout the day, authors tweet a brief pitch for their manuscripts under a common hashtag. Agents and editors monitor the feed, and favorite the pitches that’d they’d like to see as a query or submission. Tweets can’t exceed 140 characters. The hashtag, readership level (YA, NA, etc.) and genre codes take up 10-12 characters or more. So really, we’re talking about summarizing an entire novel’s character(s), conflict, and stakes in about 130 characters. That’s hard to do, especially in a way that’s coherent and intriguing. The PitMad Dataset Because it’s on Twitter (and drew wide participation), the contest also provided a good opportunity for data mining. As a working scientist I couldn’t resist the temptation to learn about my fellow authors en masse by analyzing the feed. Here you’ll find my analysis of 6,500 tweets from the Twitter feed. For the sake of a clean dataset, I required: That the user had at least 10 followers That the tweet contained a tag for readership level (YA, MG, NA, PB, or adult) and/or genre (UF, SF,  etc.). That the #PitMad tag was located near the start or end of the tweet. These steps helped remove the spam, the extensive non-pitch discussion about PitMad, comments from agents/editors, etc. It also removed a fair number of tweets (~1,500) that might very well have been pitches, but lacked age/genre tags, so keep that in mind. In the end I had 4,302 tweeted pitches from 709 unique Twitter users. Age Level: YA Predominates First, a breakdown by readership level of the work being pitched. Technically, this pitch contest was open to all age levels and genres. Because Brenda Drake runs this contest, however, we should probably expect a Young Adult (YA) bias. A quick look at the pie chart confirms this: 55% of pitches were for YA novels. The other categories were roughly equal: adult (15%), new adult (11%), middle grade (10%), and picture book (9%). The slight excess of adult relative to other non-YA categories is probably an artifact, because while parsing the twitter feeds, I automatically assigned certain genre tags to adult (e.g. women’s fiction) if no other age tag was provided. Not shown in the pie chart were comic book (CB) works that represented <1% of pitches. Pitches by Genre: Fantasy & Sci-Fi Rule Breaking down the pitches by genre is probably a more useful exercise for aspiring authors: it gives an...

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