As much and as widely as you can!
Why? Because it exposes you to the key elements of good writing: style, structure, story.
Try exploring different genres, go on a journey of book discovery. Find what you like and don’t like.
– Why does this writing appeal to me?
– How did it hook me – and keep me on board?
– Why was that so effective?
Above all, read in the genre you want to write in – go deep.
For example, if you’re looking to publish a business book, it’s important to make it your business to get well acquainted – not just with the big name titles and bestsellers, but what’s out there in niche topics too.
Successful business books specialise: they speak to specific pain points and sectors.
There are three good reasons for making this a research exercise:
1. To check out the competition
2. To check out the market sector
3. To work out your book’s USP
Then, find your own voice, angle and style. Just be yourself, because it’s authentic.
That’s what readers are going to want when they settle down to your book.
Something that’s uniquely you!