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Dianne Freeman’s Successful Twitter Pitch Query
Dianne it’s fantastic to welcome you to my blog, and thank you so much for sharing your Twitter querying experience with us, which is different to the usual route, but becoming such a popular way of querying. Also a very big thanks, for sharing your Twitter pitch, that lead to you getting that coveted YES. I know many aspiring authors out there will be supremely grateful for your generosity in sharing, because let’s face it, for most of us the querying process is daunting, and the more successful examples out there, the better! And I love that this example is of a different method of querying!
Thanks so much for having me, Maddison.
So let’s begin with your Twitter Pitch itself, and then we’ll get into the questions:
- How long did you spend writing your Twitter Pitch?
Not counting the time I sat staring at it, willing it to write itself, I’d say 5 hours or so over the course of a week.
- Did you revise your pitch at all during the twitter query process?
Oh, yes! I did a first draft in 30 minutes, but condensing it into 50 words that both conveyed the storyline and the spirit of the story was a slow and painful process. I finally settled on 55 words for the pitch, and had to remove five words from the first page. It’s a process.
- How long did it take you from when you started tweeting your pitch to when you got your first partial or full manuscript (ms) request?
Because it was a contest, all the agents were able to view my submission and request pages at the same time. I started getting requests immediately.
- How many partial and full ms requests did you receive?
- Did you receive any rejections, and if so how did you cope?
Ultimately, I received 19 rejections. Two came within a day. The manuscript just wasn’t for them. It was disappointing but I wasn’t surprised. I hoped someone would love it, but I knew not to expect everyone to love it. After Melissa offered representation, I “nudged” the remaining agents who had fulls and partials and they all eventually stepped aside. By that time, I was so thrilled with Melissa’s vision for the book and the series, I was perfectly happy to let them.
- Did you personalize each pitch/submission?
When I submitted, absolutely.
- Can you tell us a bit about when you received ‘the call’?
This is so embarrassing—I was a nervous wreck. And I really don’t know why. I had no problem with rejection, but as soon as someone showed interest, I choked. It took a full ten minutes into the call before I could speak in complete sentences and even longer before I relaxed enough to ask questions. Poor Melissa. I still marvel that she didn’t just hang up on me.
- What questions did you ask when speaking with the agent/acquiring editor that you were considering?
We discussed both our visions for the book.
Whether she was interested in representing just this book or future work.
We discussed her process, both for editing and submission.
After the call, she sent me a contract and we went over that via e-mail.
There were more questions, but those were the important ones for me.
- What questions do you wish you’d ask, but didn’t?
I wish I’d asked her if she’d be willing to read and comment on my future work. I really value Melissa’s feedback, but when I finished book 2, I was nervous about asking her. (Again, with the nerves!)
- Any advice and top tips for others about the querying process and writing the query letter itself?
First, get feedback on your query before sending it out. Lots of feedback. If your friends don’t understand it, neither will an agent. Second, don’t take rejection to heart. Third, don’t panic when someone says, yes!
- Anything else you want to add?
Here is my agent’s response as to why she requested the manuscript from me:
I was attracted to Dianne’s pitch and sample because the joy and effervescent spirit that embody A LADY’S GUIDE were already so apparent in that short introduction to her work. There is a light touch– a bounciness, a sparkle– to the writing that makes it clear that this book is going to be a delight to behold. The subject matter itself already intrigued me, because I enjoy stories about Victorian England and have a soft spot for mysteries, but when you add that special timbre that Dianne employs? It just jumps off the page. I think this is an important lesson for queriers. Try to match the tone of your query to the tone of your manuscript. If your book is spooky, your query should be so as well. If your book is lyrical and full of imagery, so too should be your query. Dianne’s book is funny and irreverent, and her pitch echoes that perfectly. I specifically loved the image of a gossip circle of Victorian women solving a murder. The incongruence of the image just gets me. Further, the sample itself is snappy, yet descriptive. We can so easily picture the scene, wherein Frances is setting these gowns aside, tired of black crepe, frustrated with her current lot in life, but oh so ready to improve it! And that is where the novel comes in!
Thanks so much Dianne for sharing your Successful Twitter Pitch with us, as well as your road on the querying journey!! It was wonderful to read and I’m sure will inspire many other authors out there, who are about to embark on the querying path. I’m sure it will also encourage others to enter Twitter Pitch events in the future!
And for those of you who want to have a read of Dianne’s awesome book ‘A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder’, it’s scheduled for release on June 26th, 2018. Click on the pic below for more info.
Dianne Freeman is a life-long book lover who left the world of corporate finance to pursue her passion for writing. After co-authoring the non-fiction book, Haunted Highway, The Spirits of Route 66, she realized her true love was fiction, historical mystery in particular. She also realized she didn’t like winter very much so now she and her husband pursue the endless summer by splitting their time between Michigan and Arizona.
Dianne can be found on the following platforms: