Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pitch Madness Prep

Pitch Madness is on again! And for you're planning to enter this year, it's prep work time!

Every year the Pitch Madness crew reads through SO MANY ENTRIES! But you have to be in it to win to speak. You need to make sure your entry is at it's best to catch the eye of a Pitch Madness Team, and then an agent.

Here's some simple steps to take to get your entry ready.

Pitch Prep

  1. Craft your 35 word pitch: Put together your pitch. Make sure you touch on the main point of the story while also dangling a hook for the agents to intrigue them. 
  2. Test your 35 word pitch on people who know your story: People who have read your story can tell you if your pitch gives a good reflection of your story. 
  3. Revise your pitch: Take on board the feedback and hone that pitch!
  4. Test your 35 word pitch on people who don't know your story: Nobody knows your story better than you do, so it's easy for the pitch to make sense to you. That doesn't mean it will to someone who has no idea what your story is about. And you'll be pitching to people who had no idea what your story is about. 
  5. Revise your pitch...again...
Manuscript Prep
  1. Polish your manuscript: Don't enter if your work isn't ready. Simple. 
  2. Make sure your story has a killer opening: You get to share your first 250 words. Make them killer. 
  3. Make sure your story starts in the right spot: Don't use a prologue in Pitch Madness. Don't give backstory/telling. Start it with ACTION or INTRIGUE. Hook us with your opening. 
Entry Prep
  1. Research the agents: Brenda has worked hard to vet participating agents, but you need to do your own research as well to make sure they're a match for you. 
  2. Follow Brenda Drake's blog, as well as all the hosts on Twitter, to make sure you get all the latest news on the contest. 
  3. Follow & use #PitchMadness on social media.
  4. Connect with other Pitch Madness entrants: You may find a CP. You may find someone cool. You may make friends of life.
  5. Prepare your entry: Get it all ready in advance so you're not rushing. 
  6. Proofread your entry: If your entry has a mistake it WILL put agents off. 
  7. Get someone else to read your entry: See above!
  8. Revise your entry!
  9. Send your entry in!
I look forward to reading your entry, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

Sharon M. Johnston is an author and public relations specialist who lives in sunny Queensland, Australia. 

She has been a Pitch Madness host for the past few years, and is also a Pitch Wars mentor.

Her New Adult Sci Fi Romance, DIVIDED: An Open Heart Novel Book 1, is out now with City Owl Press. 

You will be able to catch up with Sharon in Las Vegas in April if you are heading to Romantic Times. 

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