Just Another Struggling Writer

The lamentations of yet another person struggling to write a novel.

Fiction Friday; TBR Roundup

Hello friends! For today’s Fiction Friday, I thought I would do a fun assessment of my current TBR pile. My goals for my reading to-do list are to try and read as many recent(ish) releases as possible, to keep potential comps in mind for my own works, and to make sure I’m reading a broad range of perspectives from diverse authors. 

The Numbers

So, I currently have 58 books in my Kindle library. I have about 10 more physical books at home, but I’m not going to be counting those because… well, I’m not at home to get their stats at the moment. 

Trad vs. Indie

Of those 58, the vast majority are traditionally published. 83% vs 17% traditionally published. What does this mean for me as a reader? I don’t know that I’ve read enough indie books to make a determination, but I guess it means that I at least trust traditional publishing more with my dollars than indie published books. I will say that most of the indie books in my library were borrowed from Kindle Unlimited. 

Standalone vs Series

Next up: an overwhelming number of those in the pile were the first entries in a series. 85% vs 15% of standalones or second/subsequent entries. I already knew this would be the case. I bought a lot of these books sight unseen and without any idea whether or not I would want to continue them as a series. Also, I have found that I don’t really get into series that much, but that’s largely because I’m such a picky reader that if I feel even slightly meh about a book, I won’t bother with the rest of the series. 

Speaking of series, the majority of them were trilogies, however there were a surprising number of duologies as well. Here’s how the numbers broke down:

  • Trilogies: 24 (41%)
  • Duologies: 15 (25%)
  • 5 or more books: (12%)
  • Standalone: 6 (10%)
  • 4 books: 4 (7%)
  • Unclear: 3 (5%)

Average Length and Age

Meanwhile, the average length of these books came to 504 pages with the longest topping out at 902 pages and the shortest being 315. 

In terms of how old or recent these books are, the average age came to about 4 years, with the oldest being Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Summer Tree which came out in 2001, and the most recent was Eleventh Cycle by Kian N. Ardalan which was just released on February 1st of this year. Here’s how the rest of the years broke down:

  • 2001: 1
  • 2002: 1
  • 2010: 2
  • 2011: 1
  • 2012: 1
  • 2014: 1
  • 2015: 3
  • 2016: 1
  • 2017: 8
  • 2018: 1
  • 2019: 6
  • 2020: 9
  • 2021: 13
  • 2022: 9
  • 2023: 1


Lastly, the diversity of the authors. Of the 58 books in my TBR, 18 were written by white men, 29 by white women, and 11 by BIPOC of all genders. Clearly I’ve got some work to do in broadening my horizons. Though I would like to include numbers for queer and trans authors, I don’t think I would be able to accurately tabulate that without doing some prying that I am not comfortable with. 


So, how do my goals stack up? Well, the average age of the books in this list are under 5 years, perfect for comps. However, I need to get more deliberate about reading authors of color. I also should probably consider actually finishing some series rather than just reading the first entry and moving on. And, of course, I need to give more indie books a try. 

Well this was kind of fun if a little labor intensive. I’m hoping to scratch most of these books off the list before the end of the year! Think I can do it? Off we go!

Kerry Share

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About Me

Kerry Share’s love for writing started, as it so often does, as a love of reading at an early age. At age 11 she wrote her first short story, a Harry Potter knockoff of dubious quality, and her love for creative expression was born. Throughout her teen years she continued to foster that passion through derivative work, and at 23 she turned her eye to original fiction.

Now in her thirties, having taken a break from creative endeavors to cope with an ever changing life and landscape, she is determined to make her dream of a writing career reality.

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