Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Tweeting about your story to build interest from editors and agents

Hi Janet,

Another Pitch Wars mentee here.

I've heard conflicting advice about sharing story details on Twitter ahead of having rep and/or a book deal.

Several writers have said they’ve gotten representation or deals at least in part because people saw their story details on Twitter.

But a while ago I saw another agent Tweet that you shouldn't share story details (except for pitch contests) because it ruins the freshness when the agent goes to sell your book (editors will think ‘I’ve heard that before’ or ‘doesn’t sound unique’).

I’m just coming out of Pitch Wars and would love to build hype around my story ahead of the agent showcase, but not if it’s going to sully future excitement. 

The agent is right but for the wrong reason.
Twitter is certainly a nice tool for getting attention from agents and editors. 
A couple times even sharkly curmudgeons have seen something tasty and commented.

But Twitter isn't the main way we find out about your book. Query letters, Pitch Wars, #PitchMad are all much more focused ways to find an agent.

BUT you want to save any kind of public excitement building for when you have rep, and a book deal, and a pub date.  In other words, when you can build excitement for your book and give us a way to do something about that excitement: pre-order the book. 

Twitter is often the best if not only way to connect with potential readers.  Thus you want to save tweeting about your book until you're looking for readers, not representation.

There's nothing useful for you in building interest in your book before your readers can buy it.

And more than once, recently, I've seen a book I want to read, with no way to order it, so I promptly forgot about it.


E.M. Goldsmith said...

I concur. I might talk about the process with other writers on twitter. But if a book it being touted, I want to be able to order or pre-order it straight away or I will forget about it. Readers also develop quite large TBR piles.

Beth Carpenter said...

I've do that all the time--forget books I want to read because I didn't preorder them.

Craig F said...

I'm still hoping that my query does its work. I don't really want to throw any spoilers into the mix yet.

I too have lost the line on a couple of books that sounded good to me.

AJ Blythe said...

Me too (forgetting if I can't order straight away). And I'm one of those people EM mentioned with the leaning tower of TBR books (my kindle is also running out of memory for the same reason).

OP, the buzz you want for the showcase is just with agents. And I don't think it's a great idea to hit them with promo - that's probably going to put them off, rather than get them on board.

Be confident in your work and let it stand on its own merits. I bet you'll still impress them. Good luck!

MA Hudson said...

Yes, I think the urge to buy a book, or help out a debut writer by pre-ordering, is very fleeting. I mean, the intention remains, but the impulse to act wanes over time. Don't waste that initial spark of interest by publicising a book that's not available for purchase.