Our first foray into Twitter pitch contests yielded nothing. After not having received any , we decided to try our hand again at another contest called #SFFpit. This time, happily we had better luck.
This contest’s rules were slightly different. First, you could tweet up to ten times. Whoa. Now, we didn’t. Frankly, we had other things to do like work on our manuscript, find editors and pass it out to a round of beta readers. We also have day jobs, and right now, our plan is still to self-publish. But we have looked into agents and so on and want to at least try to attract interest in our work in that way.
Here are the two tweets we used for #SFFpit:
The first tweet had an agent and a small independent publisher it. The second had another small publisher it.
Remember, these were the tweets we used for the last Pitch Contest, #PitMad:
Personally, I (Olive, though I think Aristen too) was pleased with the result, though honestly we were not expecting anything. Last time we did a pitch contest, we posted the two above and had no . Though there was one significant difference (other than content): we used the # #A rather than #NA.
What is #NA?
So what is the difference between Adult (#A) and New Adult (#NA)? I’ve seen publishers say specifically they are NOT interested in New Adult works. So what IS it?
Having clicked around the internet, I’m not completely sure which bucket our story falls into, and it’s not just us that can’t seem to figure out what New Adult is. When I looked up New Adult, I found vaguer categories such as “protagonists aged 19-24,” and “Less than 100k words.” Other blogs stretch the age range from 18-30.
As some things are, New Adult often seems to be defined by what it isn’t. New Adult is not Young Adult or Children’s Literacy. New Adult are books like A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas (which by the way is around 130k words, not conforming to the 100k word limit we saw on a publisher’s website). Also supposedly New Adult? Fifty Shades of Gray (105K words) Eek.
The success of books in this so-called New Adult category appear to be the driving force of its recognition. As Molly Wetta states in her blog post What is New Adult Fiction, Anyway?, this genre first appeared to fill the gap from Young Adult to Adult. Hallmarks of the genre are, according to Molly, “first-person narration, dramatic, soap-opera like plots, and characters with “issues” ranging from history of abuse, anger management issues, and troubled family lives.”
Our story is written neither in the first person nor is it “soap-opera like.” As for the rest, some of the other themes are certainly present: trouble childhoods and family lives (or lack thereof).
The initial reason why we put our story in this category was the age of our protagonists. The two main characters are 22 when the story begins, but the breath of the story continues until they’re around 26. Other supporting characters are mostly older or the same age as the protagonists. One is in his early 30’s when the story begins, for example. There is also more violence and sex than I would be comfortable with my 13-year old reading (full disclosure, Aristen’s son, my god son, is about this age).
Likely going forward, we will keep OF GOLD AND FIRE in the Adult category, if only to avoid confusion of what it is and the apparent negative connotation of “soap-opera like,” oh, and ABSURD. Ouch. When in in doubt, I’d go with Adult.