Saturday, June 14, 2014

My #SFFpit Experience

#SFFpit is the brainchild of author/scientist Dan Koboldt. It is the spec fiction specific version of #PitMad. Basically, it is a 12 hour window where authors can pitch their books using the #SFFpit hashtag, and agents and small press editors can fav the pitches they want to see queries for. The most recent #SFFpit was on June 11 this year.

The timing was perfect for me. I had literally just finished the final touches on my query letter for novel 6 and was getting ready to submit some queries. The only problem is that I had no idea about it! It wasn't until I saw the hashtag in a retweet on my timeline that I even had an inkling. But I immediately wanted in! The event went from 8 AM - 8 PM Central time, and I submitted my first pitch after a five minute scramble at about 3 PM my time, which was 5 PM Central. Yikes! Spamming isn't part of it, only 1-2 pitches per hour, so I only got a chance to put 5 pitches out there. Which I wrote in between sending off unsolicited query letters to agents on my list. What a day!

Dan talks about #SFFpit winners here, and while that article hadn't been published yet, I went to bed on June 11 thinking I had won in the sense of #3 and 4. I had a couple new people to follow, and I had put novel 6 out there for all the world to see. It was actually a bit terrifying, especially thinking about all the non-SFF people on my Twitter. Are they going to think I'm crazy? Is my book so terrible that I shouldn't even be pitching it? Getting over those fears and just putting it out there was huge. And it was great practice for crafting a short, snappy pitch!

But a funny thing happened. There were people who hadn't followed #SFFpit in real-time, but they were still interested. On June 12, the favs started to come in! I ended up getting four requests, split evenly between agents and small press editors (including a small press that was on my list to query!). Dan's article says that only 79 of the 530 participating authors got 2 or more agent requests, so that made me feel like maybe novel 6 isn't the worst thing that has ever been written and I'm an idiot for trying to get it published (yeah, I'm at that stage!). So now I can count myself a #SFFpit winner in ALL of the ways Dan listed!

Now that's a good feeling!

So that was my experience with #SFFpit. It was hectic and anxiety-inducing, but it was also an excellent way to connect my work to some of the people who are most interested in it. It was a small affirmation in a journey that is paved with denials. And it was fun! My thanks to Dan for putting it together and to all of the agents and editors and authors who participated.

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