Recently agent Janet Reid posted about whether or not you should tweet about your manuscript? A reader wanted to know if this was a good way to create agent/editor interest in their work. In short, Reid told her NO. It is not a good idea. Here is why?
Not where agents go to find manuscripts. As Reid explained, in general Twitter is not where agents go to find manuscript to represent. They read queries. Some agents will take part in #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List) or #PitchMad, searching on those hashtags when the time is write. Unless you are taking part in one of these events on-line, you would be better off contacting agents directly. Send a query letter.
Most Tweets have a short shelf life. Twitter is all about connecting and conversation. Something I read today said that the average tweet has a lifespan of 18 minutes. Send a Tweet out into the atmosphere and your followers may or may not see it. Someone may search on the hashtag and see it. But the chances of this happening are relatively small. If you want an agent to express interest in your manuscript . . . as Reid said, send a query.
Sell then Tweet. As Reid explained, a much better time to stir up public nterest in your work is when it is about to be published. A media campaign directed at getting people to pre-order might include tweets.
The best way to generate interest on Twitter is to be an active part of a community. Tweet about other people’s work and tag them in the tweet. Retweet things that other people have posted. Comment when a lively discussion is going on.
To generate agent interest, first you need to write something and rewrite it until it shines. Then query. Yes, you will probably still have to query.