Authors’ Reading Lists Can be Genre Research


This should go without saying, but someone probably needs to hear it: Writers are avid readers.

Reading books gives you exposure to different authors, subjects, and styles of writing. If you think about it, one author is really just the sum of their favorite authors’ writing styles.

Sadly, some newbie writers believe they don’t need to read about the genre they want to write in while still producing on-target readable content.

Sorry not sorry, but I’m raising eyebrows at any author-to-be who wants to write but doesn’t want to read.

This warrants some serious side eye because reading books informs your writing. Your craft will not get better if you don’t spend time learning about it. As is the case with other fields of study, so it is with writing.

And I don’t know about you, but I so miss those pre-marriage days before kids and responsibilities where I could snuggle in bed with a great book for hours on end. Back then, I didn’t necessarily read to make my writing better, I read because I enjoyed the craft. That should be reason enough to pick up a book, feel the rough pages between your finger tips, and read something.



However, genre research is important to ensure that you know what is currently trending (read: selling) in your genre of interest, as well as what ideas or tropes are being over and underused. In this way, you can find your own unique lane in the writing space.

Genre research is also a great way to determine if your story will fit in the genre you’ve picked. Pro tip: if the story doesn’t fit, you either need to change the genre or change the writing.

If I just came down your row because you don’t have a reading list, it’s not a big deal. There’s never been a better time to get to your local library, Barnes & Noble, or online to Goodreads to see what’s trendy and interesting to add to your personal library. And let’s be honest, you probably have a stack of books a quarter-mile high that you can start with.

But if you need a gentle nudging in the right direction, here are three types of books you can have on rotation at all times: 

  • One book about the craft of writing
  • One book about the genre you’re writing in
  • One book purely for fun or of interest

Reading is a great way to learn about what works to write a well-crafted story that readers will engage in while building your writing skills in the process.

Featured photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash