My name is Robert Mosley. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I tell them I work with data. If they press, I'll say I'm a developer.
My career has indeed mostly revolved around data: conversion, management, modeling, governance, analytics, and statistics. I write SQL like it's a second language. I really do enjoy it - even if I don't always enjoy the specific projects I work on.
Somewhat later in life, I started writing. I wrote a whole book - a YA Thriller about a teen loner who hacks computer networks and builds cool tech projects for fun. Pretty cool, right? I think so...
And what do you do when you write a book in your mid-to-late 30s? You get it published of course!
I didn't know anything about the publishing industry. I read through some blog posts and began submitting my manuscript to agents - with zero success. I discovered that breaking into the publishing business was difficult for a professional who knew what they were doing, much less a newbie like me.
I took a publishing class at a local community college. The teacher encouraged us to get on Twitter, and I finally did. It was there that I discovered Twitter Pitch Events.
Twitter Pitch Events are contests where writers tweet a blurb about their book along with hashtags to communicate the age and genre of the story in the hopes that agents or acquiring editors will 'like' their pitch. If an agent likes a pitch, the author will then query that agent.
I happily participated in these events. I regularly received likes from small publishers, but agents always eluded me. There were regular posts with Tips & Tricks for pitching, but most of the advice felt subjective. It was difficult for me to understand what attracted an agent to a pitch.
Last September, instead of participating in #PitMad (the largest pitch event on Twitter), I applied for a developer key from Twitter and wrote python scripts to download all of the #PitMad Tweets. I also downloaded relevant metadata and profile information. I then loaded all of this data into my favorite cloud database, Snowflake, and modeled it out. The results were eye-opening.
At first I was only doing this for me. I never expected others to really care about my analysis. BUT, I started tweeting snapshots of what I was seeing in the data, and I found out a lot of people were interested.
I had more follows and comments than ever before, along with requests to do other pitch events. I complied, and over the ensuing months, I collected a treasure trove of data to help authors better understand pitch events and how to navigate them.
This blog is an attempt to catalog this data in a place other than Twitter. I will write up pitch contest trends and results to help authors be more successful with their pitches. Maybe, the data will help us spot trends and interesting things about the publishing industry.
I'm excited to see where this leads.