One of the best things you can do to market your book is to write the next one. That way there’s always something for a reader to look forward to.
Patricia Tighe was always a voracious reader, yet she didn’t start writing fiction until she was almost thirty. Since then she has published six YA romance novels and is currently working on a YA contemporary. She fills us in on generating word-of-mouth book buzz, studying the craft of writing and the importance of having supportive critique partners.
How did you begin writing?
I got a journalism degree in college but didn’t start writing fiction until a few years later when I read a book about creating characters. I’ve always been a reader, but thinking up characters and putting them in story situations made me want to learn more about the craft of writing. I ended up going to graduate school at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA and earning an MA in Writing Popular Fiction in 2008. It’s a fabulous program and one of the few of its kind that focuses on genre fiction.
What inspires you to write?
Reading a really great book. Or just having a character I love insert herself or his self into my thoughts with scenes that need to be written.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Read. Read for enjoyment, and then re-read to study how a book is put together. And persevere! Keep going even if you hit rejection. You’ll never know whether you can make it if you quit.
What do you think is the biggest marketing challenge for new authors?
Getting your book seen by enough people to drum up some interest.
What methods of book marketing do you find the most effective?
Word of mouth. But that requires drumming up interest, which isn’t that easy. I’ve been fortunate to have writer friends who will retweet or repost or initiate posts about my books, and that helps get them in front of new readers. But it’s still a challenge. One of the best things you can do to market your book is to write the next one. That way there’s always something for a reader to look forward to.
What struggles did you face in the writing and publishing process?
Oh, a ton of rejection.
How do you handle rejection as a writer?
I tell my critique partners about the rejection. They commiserate, tell me I’m wonderful and then tell me to query someone else.
How do you deal with isolation?
I don’t have a lot of trouble being alone. When my husband is out of town, I have been known to have conversations with the dogs. They are really good listeners! But if I feel an urge to get out of the house, I’m completely comfortable writing in coffee shops.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with aspiring writers?
Write about things you love. In other words, give your characters your hobbies or interests, or base a story around one of your interests. It will make the whole writing experience more fun. Because, believe me, writing is hard work.