I extended a challenge to my author friends: pitch your book in 140 characters or less — something I call a “TwitPitch.” For those of you who don’t tweet or text, “character” refers to a letter, special character, space, or punctuation mark.
A good friend, who’s a multi-published author, wrote two engaging TwitPitches of her books, but they were WAY too long. Sorry, it’s all about word economy here.
Here’s Naomi Munsch’s TwitPitch of her book, The Green Veil, “Colette loved Manason as a girl. But as a woman, in a land where lumber barons rule private empires, her vow is to his enemy.”
And Chila Woychik’s TwitPitch of On Being A Rat: “irreverent, edgy, memoir-esque, lyrical, as beautiful as it is eclectic, gut-wrenchingly honest, not for the church ladies.”
A Twitter follower said he a 140-character pitch of his book would not “aptly describe” it. No one else even bothered to play the game.
There’s a method to my madness.
According to a 2010 study by Mashable, the 25-and-up demographic of the US population sends 75 percent of the country’s text messages. More than 90 percent of text messages are read within a minute of being received.
As an author, you need what’s called a “lightning pitch”: a one to three sentence summary of the story that tells a book agent enough to get him/her interested in wanting to know more.
What if you convert the lightning pitch to a TwitPitch? You get the coveted 25-to-49 age group, they have to opt in to see it , and they’ll read it within a minute of receiving it? Seriously, did I do the math right?
The lone obstacle? I’m an author. I think every word is important, and it’s not. If you’re having trouble with long-windedness (yea, I know I made up that word), try this. Write out whatever it is and put your heart and soul into it. Count up the words, multiply it by .30, and then subtract that amount of words from your writing.
Don’t think you can do it? Try it and see where you end up; it’ll definitely be shorter. Be a surgeon, not a serial killer. Cut carefully.
Brian Thompson’s passion is motivating and encouraging others to write and to pursue Do-It-Yourself publishing. He is also author of the Christian fiction thrillers The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.