When I was applying for Pitch Wars, I scoured the internet for any and all tidbits from former Pitch Wars mentees. #NotAStalker. I wanted to know everything about the whole experience. So here I am paying it forward. I present to you Part 2 of My Pitch Wars Experience.
I wrote part 1 the night before the showcase started. I’d decided I was going to be A-Ok and filled with cupcakes no matter what, but I was absolutely shocked and delighted that I got sixteen requests! It was a wild and wonderful day getting email after email from my mentor as the requests came in.
MYTH #1 More requests equals bigger and quicker success.
The number of requests has NO correlation to your chances or timing of getting an agent. We were told this beforehand by the organizers, our mentors, and previous mentees. The only thing the number of requests tells you is how many agents connected to your query at that time. But in the moment it’s hard to keep that in mind.
THE FACTS: Every mentee got at least one. A few got a tons. But in the end, those who got the most requests didn’t sign more quickly than those who got fewer. And some who got few requests were some of the first to sign. NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING!
I thought a decent number like sixteen meant things might start happening quickly for me. But I was in for a long wait.
Myth #2 Pitch Wars is a fast track to the top of the query pile.
THE FACTS: Some mentees got a request for a call within mere days and were agented shortly after. But many are still in limbo waiting to hear back from PW requesting agents over 2.5 months later.
So after my excitement died down enough for me to sit still at my computer long enough, I started sending out my ms to PW agents, and then a few cold queries as well. Within a day rejections started trickling in. There wasn’t really a pattern to what they found wrong with it. In fact what some told me they loved about it others found to be their problem with it.
But I didn’t understand that at the time. All I could see was “all these things are wrong with it” instead of realizing publishing is such a subjective arena.
I started wondering if I really have what it takes? What if the book I walked through the fire for in PW was nothing but a pile of un-salvageable crap?
So I cried. I doubted myself.
Cupcakes nom nom nom!
Then I got over it.
I sent out more queries, received more rejections. I made notes with each one, if they agent gave notes. Most just gave a form rejection.
Then Pit Mad came along. Should I do it so soon after PW? Would people see my name and say, “Oh hey, wasn’t she a PW mentee? She STILL doesn’t have an agent? What is WRONG with her? She must suck.” I almost didn’t do it, but at the last minute I worked on a few twitter pitches and got caught up in the frenzy. It was sooo much fun!
I got a few requests. At first I thought I only had three, then I saw a fourth one that I didn’t realize was an agent at first. I didn’t recognize the name, and I didn’t see an agency listed in the profile. Remember this detail. 😉
While I waited to hear back from the PM agents, I continued querying and the rejections from the PW agents continued to trickle in. The only trend was they liked my humor. My queries were getting rejected too. I rewrote my query. But mostly this part was just a lot of waiting. A lot.
It felt like a long time because so many other mentees were getting agents, and even book deals started trickling in. This awesomeness was happening to people I care about, so I was happy for them, but it still hurt that it wasn’t happening for me.
Truth Bomb #1: IT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY TO BE HAPPY FOR OTHERS AND SAD/ENVIOUS AT THE SAME TIME! You are normal.
Part 3 is coming soon.