Reading Across the Genres


In a discussion I had yesterday with several authors about collaborating on one of the boxed sets that are all the rage currently. We were trying to decide which genre of romance we would choose to publish, each person having a different genre that they write. We couldn’t come to an agreement, so one author suggested that a set might be made up of different romantic subgenres: contemporary, historical, erotic, fantasy, sci-fi. As long as the theme was romance, people would buy it.

Until recently I believe,  boxed sets were usually all of one author’s works, but that’s changed  now.  Boxed sets including books from a variety of authors have become very popular.  All the sets I’ve seen recently, however, have been of one subgenre or another, not mixed, although I’ve not made a study of them certainly. So I began to wonder if a mixed set would indeed sell.

I don’t think that I would buy a set that only had one historical book in it out of say 8 or 10. I only read historical romances now, although I guess I could stretch that to historical fantasy as I’m currently enamored of the Outlander series, which is time-travel and therefore fantasy. In the past I have read much more than just historical romance, being a fan of Stephen King, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, and Phillipa Gregory. However, ever since I began to write historical romance, that genre seems to be all I’m interested in.

I am also certain that my tastes are not everyone’s. Authors are often given the advice to read outside their genre, so they are not influenced by other writers. (Advice which I obviously ignore.) Of course, readers have no such restrictions on what they read, so likely there are readers who would pick up a set of books that spanned the genres.

Tell me, do you read across the genres? Or do you stick strictly to one or perhaps two? Would you buy a set of novels or novellas from which you might only read one or two books? Do you instead prefer a variety? Is there any genre you would be more apt to buy?

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11 Responses to Reading Across the Genres

  1. I do not, but you already knew that. I shared, so, hopefully, you’ll get more responses.

  2. D'Ann says:

    I generally only read contemporary western/suspense, but I’d be game to try something different.

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      I also would probably be game if something other than historical romance intrigued me. I do love some westerns and some paranormal as well. I guess it would really depend on what else was in the set as to whether I’d buy a mix. Thanks for your feedback, D’Ann!

  3. Stacy McKitrick says:

    I don’t normally buy boxed sets. Unless the boxed set is from ONE author and I haven’t read ANY of them. And I hate boxed sets for e-books. They don’t come as separate books, but one HUGE file, which is really irritating when I want to read the one in the middle first. As for genres, I read a variety of stuff. Mostly paranormal romance. Love horror, suspense, and thrillers, too. Other romances are okay, and I’ll read it if the story strikes me. The only genre I stay away from is epic fantasy. Can’t get into that at all. Sci-fi is a close second, although I love it on TV and movies (prefer the visual there instead of trying to decipher the book).

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thanks for your input, Stacy! I haven’t bought any of the boxed sets that are out there, although I’m tempted by one historical one. But if they come as one Huge file, that’s insane. Thanks for the tip!

  4. melissakeir says:

    I read just about anything. I’ve even read the cereal box when I’m bored. Of course, I don’t have time for boredom anymore!

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Writing gives you a new perspective on reading. Not just about genre, but time writing vs time reading. I’ve done more this summer than in a long time. Unfortunately, I find myself still staying up until 3 or 4 am reading, not wanting to let go of the magic. Now with going back to school, that will stop. 😦 *sigh* not enough hours in the day.

  5. I primarily like to read what I write: fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. However, if the story is good, I’ll read contemporary, romantic suspense, mystery, and literature. Great question. Shared via Twitter.

    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Thanks, Andrea! Yes, if a story is really compelling, I’ll read it no matter the genre, but my head is so much in historical that it’s hard for me to find something else I like.

  6. Daisy Banks says:

    Hi Jenna, I read all kinds of stuff, but Paranormal, Fantasy and Historical are the main ones on my list.

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