Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Conferences (#RT16) and Twitter Pitches (#DVPit): My very emotional post after doing both within a week

This is a writing post! So, sorry if you're one of my reader followers. I just need to squeal and dance about life.

First off, last week(end), I went to a conference, Romantic Times Convention (or RT Con). I not only got to meet some of my HERO authors (squeal #1) but I got to meet an awesome group of writers.
Scroll down for book suggestions I have based on the conference

Being a writer is hard, because it feels so solitary. You have your characters to keep you company on a daily basis, but you often wonder if they're only people that you could love (kind of like the saying that a baby is so unattractive only a mother can love it). I wonder this DAILY. And I have a group of critique partners that do give me a lot of boosting. But I am also randomly fierce in my protectiveness over my writing.

So, going to a writing convention kind of forces you to lay your soul bare. Once you've given in to the fact that you're going to put this book out there, you have to pitch it to agents (and potentially editors). This means TELLING an agent about your book (gasp!). Suffice it to say, I almost died inside a dozen times. And then I sucked it up and just did it. I got requests. And I died again (but this time I was a happy ghost. And also squeal #2).

Lessons learned: 

1) Just do it. You can't hold in your work forever if publishing is your end goal.

2) Don't be afraid to ask for advice. I met a lot of great authors who were more than willing to let me pitch practice on them.

3) Accept it if your story isn't for everyone. Some agents loved my pitch, some didn't. It's the fact of a subjective industry and you just have to keep trucking.

4) DO NOT try to fit your whole story into your pitch. Just tell the main gist and the main character. If you go cuh-razy, the agent will just go to their happy place and not follow your thread. I literally pitched my book as a concept instead of a full plot and I got requests. It was epic :)

Do not be Sheldon! Be you! Your awesome author self

Some advice given to me by Agents who requested:

1) Take your time! Do not send the MS right away if it is not squeaky shiny! It's hard not to just flood all of the agents that request, but it's kind of like being considerate that they want your best because you'd want their best if they were your agent. I went to the conference thinking "this is it." But I'll still give it read overs before I hit the send button.

2) Make sure you put in some info about the pitch you told them. A query is great, and it's usually longer than a conference pitch. Make sure that your story is what you pitched. And if your query is grossly different than your pitch...maybe reassess (when I think about it, this advice is something to be given before you pitch at all).

3) Be excited! This is happy times! You got requests! At one point I couldn't stop smiling as I spoke to an agent and I apologized about my face (yes, you're allowed to laugh at me). She said it was fine, that she was happy for me too. (Agents are super nice y'all).

Okay, so now we're onto Twitter Pitch contests.

I did #DVPit this week. The wonderful contest put on through Twitter by the Amazing Beth Phelan.

The gist of it was:

#DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. This includes (but is not limited to): Native peoples and people of color; people living and/or born/raised in underrepresented cultures and countries; disabled persons; people with illness; people on marginalized ends of the socioeconomic, cultural and/or religious spectrum; people identifying as LGBTQIA+; and more.

Can I just say, it was EPIC!

I love that it was for marginalized voices! Loved all of the #ownvoices out there. I would tell everyone who follows this blog to go to Twitter-->search #DVPit-->read the pitches. Because these books are the ones that will be in your bookstore in a few years, and you get the privilege of having a sneak peek!

This is what I learned:

1) Be simple with your Twitter Pitch. If you were simple with your conference pitch, do that times TEN for twitter. You only have 140 characters!

2) community is everything! Signal boost your favorite pitches. Many participants were paying it forward and it was magical to see. Seriously, I love my writer community!

3) It's full of hope! To see these unagented/unpublished authors right now and to KNOW that their books will be published in due time. It just makes you happy warm inside.

4) Take this opportunity to cultivate new relationships. Tweet at people if you like their pitch. Say thank you when they like yours back. And be respectful ALWAYS of the time put into a huge event like this! (Seriously #DVPit trended nationwide, that's epic).

5) Also, know that agents and editors are still professionals, don't ask them weird personal stuff. And when you query keep it as professional as if it was a cold, slush-pile query. 

Seriously! Everyone who did #DVPit was awesome, and everyone who was at #RT16 was epic. Thank you writing world for possibly the best writing week of my life! Kat. Out. 

Suggested Reading:

Zoraida Cordova's NA is awesome!
Obviously be on the lookout for Labyrinth Lost coming out in September 2016

Tiny Pretty Things is a BIG Beautiful Book! (See what I did there?)

I will always post this cover because it is gorgeous! Cindy Pon is an amazing fantasy writer!
Speaking of, her book WANT, set in a futuristic Taipei will come out July 2017. ADD TO YOUR TBR!
Leigh Bardugo and her books need no introduction. If you haven't read this, rectify that.

I'm going to assume you already read Wrath and the Dawn. The Rose and the Dagger comes out in LESS THAN A WEEK!

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