Introducing #PitMasto: for Authors, Agents, and Publishers

Inspired by #pitmad, the awesome creation of Brenda Drake, we asked folks on Mastodon last week if they’d be interested in a Mastodon version of PitMad. We called it #PitMasto and were pleasantly surprised by the response.

So we’re gonna run with it. And as the people who created it, we get to lay out the ground rules. 😉

What is #PitMasto

#PitMasto is a one-day event for authors to share pitches for their finished manuscripts. You know how it’s bad form to go on social media and say “I’ve this awesome manuscript, here’s the pitch, please represent/publish me!” Well, #PitMasto is the day authors are supposed to do exactly that.  Agents and publishers who are looking to pick up a new author will follow the #PitMasto hashtag and reply or favourite pitches they like.

Now, most of the response we’ve gotten so far has been from authors who are interested in doing a #PitMasto. Mastodon is still a small-ish social media and we don’t know how many agents or publishers will be taking part. It might be just us or it might be a couple dozen folks.

When and Where

The innaugural #PitMasto will run January 15th starting at 12:01 am -500 Greenwhich (aka, US eastern time) and run for 24 hours.

It’ll take place on the Fediverse. We’re based in wandering.shop but we hope to be able to reach enough folks in other instances to have people from a large chuck of the Fediverse taking part.

Recommended Pitch Style

Part of the point of #PitMad is for authors to have a chance to practice their “elevator pitch.” The elevator pitch, for anyone unfamiliar, is the pitch you make for when you end up in an elevate with the agent or publisher of your dreams and only have until the doors open to convince them to look at your book.

While you are unlikely to ever ACTUALLY be in an elevator with the agent or publisher of your dreams, you may meet them at a convention, get into a discussion on social media, etc. And if you do, you’ll have a few seconds to grab their attention before they are off doing other things. (You’re one of a hundred authors whose tried to grab their attention today, they’ve got a short attention space. Don’t waste it!)

So in the spirit of the elevator pitch, we recommend keeping your pitch under 250 characters.

Make sure you tag your boost with #pitmasto and the age range  and genre(s).

Age Range:

#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult

Genres:

#action
#contemporary
#erotica
#fantasy
#horror
#mystery
#romance
#sf

Other tags worth using:

#ChristianFiction
#diversity
#LGBT
#ownvoices (remember to specify what it is #ownvoices for)
#POC

On Running a Business While Spoony

Folks who’ve been following us for a while will have noticed that we have periods where we go silent for a while. Our Twitter account is unattended, Facebook is silent, and the blog just stalls out. We haven’t gone quiet on Mastodon yet, but sooner or later it’ll happen.

This is part of the hazard of running a business while spoony. Sometimes we don’t have the spoons for everything that needs doing. And that doesn’t just apply to social media.

We plan for this. We add a buffer zone when we are setting schedules and deadlines. We plan for tasks to take longer than we really expect them to. We prioritize tasks so that stuff we absolutely need to get done, gets done first.

To anyone who is used to “regular” businesses, our way of doing things is confusing and “unprofessional.” But–and it’s a big “but”–at least so far, it’s worked.

We’ve met our deadlines or found ways to work around them as needed. We ran a reasonably successful crowdfunding campaign, we made our deadline on the thunderclap for the crowdfunding campaign, we made deadline on editing and designing The Bargain in time to get it out to reviewers.

And we did it without sacrificing anything in quality of the work we were doing.

Running a business while spoony is hard. But by working with our spooniness, instead of against it, we’ve managed.

So sometimes you won’t see us around for a while. Sometimes we’ve had to prioritize something behind the scenes so the blog and social media will dry up for a while.

But we’re always here. Always doing what we can. Always making sure the books get made and sent out to reviewers and the authors are in the loop and everything that needs to happen so that you get more awesome books.

If you are a spoony author whose worried about working under deadline–we understand, and we’re happy to work with you.

If you are spoony and thinking of starting a business–you can do it! It’s hard, but it’s worth it. Start with learning everything you can about running a business, hit up the SBA, talk to your local chamber of commerce. And find partners you can trust.

We’re on Mastodon and off Twitter

Hey folks,

We’re changing up our social media a bit.

Mastodon

We’ve joined Mastodon, a new-ish open source social media that Jess Mahler has been on for a bit and has recently become popular in some portions of SFF fandom and author communities. You can find us talking books and tea @cuilpress@wandering.shop

Twitter

We’re also retiring our Twitter account. We won’t be deleting it entirely, but it’s become a time and spoon sink that we can’t afford, and really, Twitter just isn’t a good place anymore for a small business to reach people. Plus, we don’t like a lot of their policies.

Facebook

We’re keeping Facebook as-is for now. With Twitter not being active, we’ll hopefully have the spoons to keep FB more active.

Instagram

We’re looking at getting an Instagram account going. Visual images aren’t a huge part of the what a publishing company deals with, but it would be a good way to share cover art, author pics, and photos of events and such.