I met Monica at my picture book illustration class. I asked to tag along with her to my first SCBWI meeting so I wouldn’t feel so scared. Later, she invited me to join her mini critique club with a total of five people. We met online every two weeks during the lockdown. I found the number of people perfect as everyone had time to share and we got to learn each other’s material well enough to provide constructive feedback.
One day, our mini critique club was helping me improve my cover letter and someone mentioned #PBPitch which was happening in a few days. For one day, authors and illustrators can pitch their story on Twitter. If a publisher or agent likes your pitch, you can submit your story to them. This reduces the number of cover letters I have to write and that is good news to me!
At first, I wasn’t sure if I want to try #PBPitch again because I didn’t get any likes the last time I tried. I am glad that I still researched #PBPitch on Twitter and on their website www.pbpitch.com to see how people write a pitch. I found a successful pitch that was similar to mine and used the format to re-write my pitch. I also improved my illustrations over the year and I think those helped because this time I got three likes and one of them became my publisher!
There are many pitching parties online and my publisher looks for author-illustrators this way so I highly recommend trying. Also, you will have to find a publisher that publishes the kind of story you write so timing is important.
My other secret that I am still experimenting with is to get happy first before taking action. Since the lockdown due to COVID-19, I’ve been spending time reading books and watching YouTube videos of my favorite spiritual teachers. One of my favorite teachers is Abraham-Hicks and she always says to be satisfied with the now before anything you desire can happen. So I spent some time doing meditation and researching how people write a good pitch. I only submitted when I felt good and inspired to do so (Abraham-Hicks often explains the difference between inspiration and motivation). Then I forgot about it. I didn’t check my Twitter for several days because I don’t want to feel something has to happen for me to be happy. I can choose to be happy now in my current situation.
A few days later, I checked my Twitter and saw that I got three likes! Again, I made sure I feel good before submitting my package. In another time, I’d probably rush through the whole process worrying if I didn’t do it quickly enough I’d miss out on the opportunity.
Soon after, I got an offer to publish and I was in disbelief!
Is Abraham-Hicks right? Does the universe really conspire to help us if we allow it? One of my favorite quotes from my favorite book The Alchemist:
#PBPitch happens three times a year. There are also many other pitch parties on Twitter such as #dvpit and #pitmad. If you Google “twitter pitch” you will find many lists like this 2021 Twitter Pitch Parties for Writers with dates and links. Check out their websites to see how to participate. And don’t give up! You never know when your next publisher will be on it!