Pitcharama: what influenced my selectionsPosted: June 19, 2013 Filed under: On writing | Tags: agents, aussie-owned, contests, queries, small presses 2 Comments
The Pitcharama first-round selections were announced today over at Aussie Owned and Read. There are some great pitches there, although I’m sad we couldn’t take everyone through to the final round. (However, as I said yesterday, it’s not too late: the pitch-a-mate round opens tomorrow. Keep an eye on the blog for details.)
My three selections (in the order they were submitted) are:
- No Such Thing by Sarah Glenn Marsh
- Off Campus by AJ Albinak
- Barely Imagined Creatures by Pete Catalano
You’ll see that I chose two young adult manuscripts (both urban fantasy) and one new adult (an m/m romance). There were a few things that influenced my decision.
1. I love urban fantasy.
I write it, I read it—it’s hardly surprising that I would lean toward choosing it. This should give you an idea of how subjective this process really is.
2. Word counts were a big factor.
YA can run from 50k to 80k (or up to 100k for fantasy, but better to keep it lower than that for a debut novel). I chose pitches for manuscripts in that ballpark. If you want to read a great blog post on word lengths, this is the one I use as my rule of thumb.
Some of the digital-only presses may care less about word count, since they don’t have to pay the larger cost of producing a fat novel. I don’t really know much about that, though, so I assumed the normal conventions would apply in this case.
3. I looked at the participating publishers’ preferences.
We have several presses looking for romance (at least one of which publishes m/m—I checked!). We have several that publish paranormal, UF and dark fantasy. So I tried to choose pitches that I thought those presses’ acquiring editors would be interested in, to give “my” three authors the best shot.
This, by the way, is the same process you should go through if you’re pitching to presses or agents directly: look at what they buy or represent. Look at their website to see what they’re after. Most of them are pretty upfront about it, and it saves you from wasting your time and theirs. And, even better, saves you from the heartbreak of a rejection you could have avoided.
Anyway, that’s it. Looking back over the post, it doesn’t seem like rocket science to me, but maybe it’s helpful to someone out there. A big snuggle-y thanks to everyone that has participated thus far!
That’s pretty much the process I went through when both working on my ms. and deciding whether or not to pitch in this contest. 🙂 I know what the market generally allows as far as length goes, because I read a lot in the genre, and I read your blog posts about the publishers to make sure at least one would potentially be interested. Especially since my genre is a little less common than PNR or urban fantasy. Glad to to have made it through to the editor round, thank you!
Fingers crossed for a big result. 😀