Three pieces of writerly advice that I’ve heard most since starting on the road to publishing, are: 1) know the market; 2) know where your book will sit on the shelf; and 3) read your genre. At first, they sound deceptively similar. But while there are nuanced differences, the bottom line is that reading benefits writing—in craft as well as submission sense. Becoming more shelf-aware can help with finding just the right comp titles to include in a query and with discovering what makes your work distinctive within your genre in the market. Try this reading challenge to get to know your-shelf better!
Within the age group you write, read a book…
· written in the same POV
· with a MC the same race as yours
· set in the same time period
· with a character who shares the same name as one of your characters
· in your same genre
· with a MC who speaks the same first language as yours
· that has a similar title, or shares an important title word
· set in the same place
· with a MC the same age as yours
· that has a MC with a similar family situation
· repped by an agent you’d like to query
And above all, read something that inspires you and have fun with it!