My fellow writers, let me say this as delicately as I can. Knock it off! This isn’t going to be a long posting today, but I think it is an important one. This hashtag is probably one of the single most useful tools to come out of twitter for authors. It lets you instantly know which agents and editors are looking for what.
You shouldn’t write your work trying to match their wants, but instead should be using it to find an agent who wants what you’ve already done. The tag has a website associated with it in case you want to find detailed listings of what different agents are looking for. This is a fantastic tool and we are screwing it up already.
It seems like there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see hopeful authors splattering the #MSWL tag with their finished drafts. Ignoring for a moment that your pitch probably doesn’t do your work justice, it is just plain rude. The point of the tag is for agents to say what they would love to see, but haven’t found. It isn’t there for you to pitch your book. I have seen more than a few agents get frustrated over this.
Do you honestly think irritating agents and editors is a good way to sell your work? Pick some other tags that relate to pitching your book. Leave the #mswl to what it is there for. Am I saying this because I find it irritating? In part at least, yes. That said, my points remain valid. You are doing yourself a disservice in most cases when you try to shoehorn your pitch where it doesn’t belong. Resist. It’s for your own good.
Postscript: For the record: No, I will not be using the MSWL tag for this.