Everything You Need to Know About #PitMad and 5 Publishers Seeking Submissions

Written by A Guest Author

By Holly Garcia

I remember walking into Barnes and Noble to pick up a 2003 edition guide to publishers. It was a thick book, something one could have used to boost themselves up a solid 7 inches to reach the steering wheel. Finding the right place to submit your manuscript was daunting and overwhelming, but it was a necessary step to finding places to query your work.

Now, 18 years later, with everything that is the internet, information is available instantly. There are multitudes of different resources and different ways to get multiple sets of eyes on your work. The explosion of social media in the mid to late 2000s gave us Facebook writers groups, Bookstagram, and #PitMad.

#PitMad is a Twitter event (established in 2012) occurring on a quarterly basis where authors, not represented by a literary agent, are challenged to condense a pitch for their manuscript into the length of a tweet.

This time around, I was not in a place to pitch either of my manuscripts, but I would like to share best practices with any authors who are considering this alternative to traditional querying.

Familiarize Yourself With Event Hashtags

Twitter is all about the hashtags. There are two hashtags required to participate in PitMad, one of which is #PitMad.

In addition, there are three sub-hashtags categories: Age Category, Genre/Sub-Genre, and Optional hashtags.

Age Category

In this category, there are seven different classifications ranging from Picture Book (#PB) to Adult (#A). In addition to #PitMad, this is the other category required to participate.

Genres/Sub-Genres

In this category, there are 40 different hashtags you can use to describe the genre of your manuscript. The genres are diverse and represent all categories from Bizzaro Fiction (#BZ) to Short Story Collection (#SHRT) and Non-Fiction (#NF) to Poetry Collection (#PM).

Even though this category is not required, if you have characters left in your pitch, consider giving potential publishers more details about your manuscript.

Additional Hashtags

The 3rd category of hashtags available to authors helps identify the content and themes of their manuscript. Additionally, some of the hashtags represent the author as well.

There are nine different hashtags in this category, like Black Voices Matter (#BVM) and Author is a Person of Color (#POC), used to describe the creator pitching their manuscript. In addition, other hashtags cover themes like Mental Health subject matter (#MH) and LGBTQIA+ subject matter (#LGBT).

Representation is important in writing. There is much work to be done to bring diverse authors and complex content front and center. While this category is also not required if you or your work meet any of these criteria, consider representing yourself using these hashtags.

You can find the complete listing of all 57 hashtags here.

Consider Including Comparatives Titles

A traditional query letter may include comparative titles to give your potential publisher or literary agent a feel for what they could expect from your manuscript.

There are no hard and fast rules for #PitMad regarding providing comps in your pitch, but several pitches I observed receiving requests from agents and publishers used comps in their pitch. For example:

Eden Campbell (@AuthorEdenC)

“ME BEFORE YOU x GARDEN STATE Susie’s smile hides a lifetime of pain. When she meets Brian, the quiet chem teacher with Cerebral Palsy, sparks fly. But stuck in her past, she can’t envision a future, unless Brian can show her that love is a risk worth taking. #PitMad #A #CR #R”

Ty Carlson (@TCRivers)

“BLACK MIRROR x THE NOTEBOOK Nightmares have haunted Evan ever since his wife died in a tsunami. With the miracle of technology, he gets the chance to speak with her again. The only problem is, she tells him he’s had it all wrong – he’s been dead for years. #SF #pitmad #A” [SHOULD IT BE #PitMad WITH A CAPITAL M?]

It can be exciting to receive a request for your manuscript, but make sure you do your research on the person (or entity) requesting your information.

Do Through Research on Publishers Who Like Your Pitch

One of the rules of #PitMad that many people fail to adhere to is the only people who should be liking your pitch are publishers or literary agents. According to the official #PitMad website — “Participating editors should be acquiring for a traditional publisher that does not charge fees. Small presses are welcome.”

For every legitimate agent, editor, or publisher, there are equal amounts of vanity presses. Other times the presses will be brand new, and while they may go on to become successful, it is up to you to decide the amount of risk you are comfortable with when entrusting them with your manuscript.

Takeaways

#PitMad is a Twitter pitching event for authors, not represented by a literary agent, who have a completed manuscript(s) ready for query. Three best practices you can implement for success in this event are using your hashtags, including comparative titles, and researching any requests you receive:

  1. Use all available 208 characters when pitching your completed manuscript(s) using the hashtag #PitMad and 57 supplementary hashtags. These hashtags describe the age category, the genre of your work, and overall themes.
  2. Consider using comparative titles in your pitch. It gives potential publishers and agents more specifics of the tone of your work.
  3. If you choose to participate in #PitMad, do your research on potential publishers and literary agents before sending your manuscript. Make sure you are a good fit for them, and they provide what you are looking for as an author.

More details for authors, and publishers participating in #PitMad, can be found on the official website.

6 Publishers Who Participated In #PitMad:

Broadleaf Books: Broadleaf Books celebrated its 1st anniversary as the Adult Non-Fiction imprint of 1517 Media in January of 2020. Their website states they are looking for, “books that engage religion, spirituality, culture, social justice, history, relationships, and personal growth (among other categories) with credibility and authenticity.” They are currently open to submissions. Find all the details here.

Champagne Book Group: Champagne Book Group (CBG) has been operating since 2004. Their website states, “CBG authors write stories that transport readers to other worlds, to the past, to the future, lets them enjoy romance, find love, discover what it’s like to be a Bond or Bourne and ride in a spaceship as it zips through the stars.” CBG also states, “Even as we continue to publish fabulous books in other genres, we primarily seek romance across the sub-genres.” They are closed to submissions for April and will reopen again in September. Find all the details here.

Sword & Silk Books: According to their website, “Sword and Silk Books is a small traditional publishing company, celebrating womxn of all walks of life.” They describe their brand as, “Engaging reads designed to empower readers.” They currently have two books out and are set to release three additional titles between Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. They are accepting submissions. Find all the details here.

Literary Wanderlust: Literary Wanderlust is an independent traditional publisher. Per their website, “They are currently open to unsolicited submissions but do not accept previously published manuscripts.” They are accepting primarily adult fiction, with one YA exception for Science Fiction and Fantasy. For more specific guidelines, you can visit their Staff Page. Find all the submission details here.

Scribe Publishing: Scribe Publishing is a small press established in 2011 out of Midwest Michigan. They are actively open to submissions for fiction and nonfiction. According to their website, when it comes to fiction submissions, they are looking for, “… YA fiction, in the contemporary YA genre, we are looking for gritty, authentic, and underrepresented voices. Otherwise, in YA fiction, we are interested in new takes on magical realism, urban fantasy, etc. If it’s the kind of story a reader gets lost in, send it over.” Find all the submission details here.

Quirk Books: Quirk Books publishes 25 unconventional books per year. Per their website, some of their most popular titles are, “…fangirl favorite Geekerella, the legendary Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and classroom favorite William Shakespeare’s Star Wars”. For submission guidelines, visit the submission page here.


Bio: Holly Garcia is the author of an upcoming self-published poetry collection, All The Ways I Loved You, and is working through her debut historical fiction novel. When she isn’t working on these projects, she writes non-fiction essays and is a freelance resume writer. Keep in touch at garcia.hc0502@gmail.com

 

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