You can learn a lot about the book you want to write by reading what other authors have already written in the same genre.
Books by other authors are not really your competition, of course, because there’s plenty of room for more books, including yours.
Are you writing a historical novel that takes place in the 18th century? A cookbook on Asian cultures? A memoir based on the life of your grandmother? A how-to book based on your life's work or fav hobby?
Find similar books that have already been published -- I give you permission to be picky and ask questions:
- What doesn’t?
- Why doesn’t it?
- How long is the book?
- How many chapters?
- How many pages?
- Is that too long?
- Too short?
- Just right?
- Did the cover jump out at you?
- Why or why not?
Not sure where to look? The world’s largest library is absolutely free and you don't even need a library card. And no one will tell you to be quiet, either. Yup, it's:
Click on over to Amazon.com and "borrow" a few books. Just type in the title of a book in your genre and then follow the links to “also recommended” books, book lists, reading lists, and more. Read the reviews and find out what readers are buying, what they like, and what they don't like.
Amazon lists such as these can be a goldmine of info for you:
You can also find out the books that book clubs are picking, the books that readers love on Goodreads, and the books that people are recommending on Facebook and Twitter -- and more importantly you'll find out why.
It's easy (and fun) research that will help you write your own best seller.
Just don't use all this research as an excuse not to write. Eventually you have to stop researching and start writing your own best seller. That's the whole point, right?
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"Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn."
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