Thursday, 4 August 2011

Reading Is Research

Have you ever read a book and think, boy, I'm crap? Give up the story telling now!

I am trying to read as much as I can, generally in the romance/chick lit genre for research purposes. One thing I learnt at the RNA Conferece is to study the market, study who you think your book will sit beside on a shelf in the likes of Waterstones (but not in the context of surnames! lol!... Crikey, I'll be quite close to Sue Moorcroft).

Currently, I am reading Harriet Evans 'The Love of Her Life' (which I hope to finish today) and last night, the big twist was revealed. (I will leave a review for this book, I have mixed feelings about it).

Admittedly, The Wedding Favour is a uncomplicated romance story, in that, there are no major twists really, (not like the one I've just read in The Love Of Her Life anyway) just conflict thrown at, well, the hero mainly. And it's a case of them realising they are perfect for one another. My story is told in the hero's and the heroine's POV (point of view).

Anyway, I'm reading this book (The Love of Her Life), thinking is this really the genre I'll be submitting to? I can't quite work out if it's chick lit or romance (for me the genre gets hazy). Is this relative?

I know every book read is not a book wasted. If you want to write, you need to read - it just doesn't always give me confidence. But when I've got such a limit on time, how long will it take to find where my book 'sits' in the market? Because at the moment I'm having trouble spotting it.

I can't decide which book I should read next. Which book will help with my research?  I would like to start submitting The Wedding Favour... but haven't the foggiest where.

Now we are in August, over half the year has gone (how depressing), I've decided that I am going to read different authors under different publishers... which means, the likes of Love And Freedom by Sue Moorcroft sitting on my shelf will have to wait (sorry Sue). I've read 3 of Sue's books now - this year! - so I consider her well studied. I do need to find another Katie Fforde, though, as I enjoyed her book, and liked her style - I want to see it in another story. It's very hard for me to say my style is similar, without thinking I look arrogant. Katie Fforde is an established, best selling author ...

Someone, who's read The Wedding Favour, said my style was similar to Jill Mansell. Hmmm... I've read one of her books, and I'm not so sure. She's very good too.

So are there any tips to researching the market and publishers more quickly? Or do I just keep on reading and hope for the best. And do I just submit and keep everything crossed?