Yesterday, October 17, was #DVpit on Twitter for adult fiction and nonfiction books.
Writers from diverse backgrounds pitched their completed, unpublished manuscript ideas in a tweet. Since it was an organized, publicized effort, agents checked the #DVpit feed on Twitter, looking for manuscripts they may be interested in reading—and hopefully representing.
If an agent likes someone’s tweet-pitch, they click that lovely heart button underneath. A “like” notifies the author that said agent would like a submission of the manuscript.
Since it began in 2016, #DVpit has seen more than 80 authors get signed with agents. And 35 books have won contracts. — #DVpit
I find this whole process fascinating, so I checked on Twitter several times during the day to see how it was going. Here’s what I noticed.
- Comp titles really are helpful
Cluing people into your novel in less than 240 characters is hard. Leading the tweet-pitch with two comparable/comparison titles, writing it as “TITLE A X TITLE B,” grounds the story idea quickly.
- There are some trends
I saw comp titles like Count of Monte Cristo, Crazy Rich Asians, Stranger Things, La Femme Nikita, The Alchemist, The Girl on the Train, and Awkward Black Girl/Insecure.
Recurring settings outside of the U.S. included Mumbai, Africa, Seoul, and Hong Kong. Stories were about Asians, Muslims, African Americans, individuals from the LGBTQ community, and more. And characters were facing mental health issues, physical disability challenges, and other under-represented experiences.
It was really nice to see all the diversity, complexity, and creativity.
- It’s a good way to know what people are writing about
Bestseller lists are the best way to see what’s popular among readers. #DVpit is a good way to know what people are writing about.
Whether it becomes popular or not is a whole other story. (Wouldn’t it be nice if every author could hit the bestseller list at least once in their career? *sigh*)
- Adding visuals is a nice touch
Some writers included a montage of pictures with their pitch. It’s another way to express what the book is about. It draws the eye and gives the pitch another layer of depth.
Visuals play to Twitter’s strengths, all while keeping you within the 240-character limit. It’s something that can’t be done with a query letter or in-person pitch-fest. So why not take advantage?
- Authors are getting likes
There truly are real agents expressing their interest in people’s work. This initiative is more than a nice-to-do event.
Agents are genuinely scanning the #DVpit feed, and they are requesting submissions for stories they like. Takeway: the event is doing its job, bringing together marginalized authors with agents.
- It’s a nice alternative to the query letter slush pile
“Cold-emailing” a query letter to agents is a hard sell. Is the agent going to like it? Are they going to respond? Heck, did they even read your email to begin with?
#DVpit seems to be a slightly warmer, more symbiotic approach to finding an agent.
Less like this…
And more like this…
- Nonfiction books had a low participation
The event is for fiction and nonfiction, but I didn’t see much of the latter on the #DVpit feed. (Or did I miss something?) Could be good or bad.
Why it could be good: The nonfiction pieces definitely stuck out. Less competition.
Why it may not be good: The agents active on #DVpit may not have been as interested in nonfiction submissions. The event may not be a good fit for nonfiction writers.
- There were a lot of last-minute tweets
It looks like about 40 came in during the last hour. (The event ended at 8 p.m. ET.) Could be a plus for attracting agents who didn’t scroll through the feed until later that night, especially if they started with the latest posts first.
- It gives authors something to shoot for
While setting writing goals and deadlines, consider planning to have a manuscript finished by a #DVpit event. Then participate. What do you have to lose?
- The next one is in the Spring
- I still haven’t participated
I think #DVpit is a great opportunity for marginalized authors, especially those like me who are unpublished.
I hoped to have a solid, finished manuscript ready by yesterday’s event, but the book is still baking. That’s okay. The Spring event will be here soon. And fingers-crossed, I’ll be ready!
What did you think of #DVpit? Have you participated? Will you?