Tweet or not to tweet?

One of my goals this past year was to hop onto Twitter. I did  –  @leslie_zampetti – and now I’m enjoying the Twitterverse, especially concerning books, writing, and reading. (And libraries!)

Having seen a couple #PitchMad / #Pitmad events, I was intrigued by one of Cheryl Klein’s  (@chavelaque) re-tweets recently. To wit:

Unpublished writers, tempted to tweet-pitch a publisher? Don’t. Twitter isn’t a pitch forum. It’s beyond useless; it leaves a bad taste.”

Okay. I get it – don’t tweet-pitch an editor directly. (Given the rules for #PitchMad, I’m assuming they just won’t look at those tweets if they’re not interested in participating.)

But I can also see how this might confuse newbies who are told all the time about how Twitter is a great opportunity to connect with agents and editors, and golly gee whiz, haven’t you heard about these awesome pitching parties?

What do you think?

Personally, I’m still trying to be concise enough to tweet a pitch on #PitchMad. And I’m a big fan of etiquette. Querying through channels is one thing; tweet-pitching someone who may not be interested smacks of hollering your pitch over a bathroom stall. (Never a good idea.)

Given the constraints of Twitter – 140 characters doesn’t allow for a lot of nuance for most folks – seems to me that there’s a LOT of room for misinterpretations. Things get lost in translation.

Speaking of translations, Betsy Bird sent out a heads-up about “Where the Wild Books Are,” an event exploring “cultural trends and changes in the field of global publishing and their impact on the cultural literacy and the imaginative capacities of the next generation.”

Presenters include Betsy, Leonard Marcus, and the event’s creator, Etienne Delessert, among other international authors, critics, and publishers. It looks to be a fascinating Saturday spent learning about picture books all over the world and the global publishing scene.

Where the Wild Books Are: Saturday, April 18th, 1:00 to 6:00 PM at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY. This is a free event, but registration is required.


5 thoughts on “Tweet or not to tweet?

  1. Leslie, At #pitchmad do they tell you who had success with this kind of pitch? I would want specifics before signing up. You also don’t want someone to steal your idea. And once it’s out there, it’s anyone’s game. Just my two cents.

  2. You are right. Everything is confusing for newbies!!!
    For #Pitmad you just tweet it with the hashtag. The agents who are playing will just search for the #pitmad hashtag to review.
    So you aren’t saying “hey @editorJoe, here’s the zombie love story you’ve been searching for!” This would obviously be inappropriate.
    I think forming a twitter relationship with editor/agent would look like: “Is @awesomeauthor writing a sequel to COOL BOOK? I loved it!” or “I’m a huge wuthering heights fan too.” I think it’s about connecting in a more meaningful way (my terrible examples aside!) Or maybe it just starts when you retweet something that you sincerely agree with.

  3. I’ve never heard of #PitchMad or #PitMad! I do remember hearing about something with pitching to agents somewhere on Twitter. I don’t really like the idea of doing that. And I agree with Robin—once your idea’s out there, anyone can use it. Not good. I don’t use Twitter this way, anyway. I use it to chat with kindred spirits and to spread around good info 🙂

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