woman laying on a beach towel reading a book at the beach; beach reads Beach reads are a sub-genre of fiction, and include books you might read at the beach, the lake, at a resort, or another summer vacation destination. These books are often set at the beach and are typically published in late spring to early summer. This popular sub-genre intends for readers to take them on summer vacations. The cover designs are bold and colorful.

While beach reads have been around for decades, they weren’t classified as a fiction sub-genre until a few years back. This is mostly thanks to the authors who put out a summer-themed book every year at the start of summer vacation travel. Elin Hilderbrand may be the most well-known author of beach reads. Her last book before retirement will be Swan Song, which will be available June 11, 2o24.

Should your novel be classified as a beach read, too? Here’s a list of ingredients your fiction book will need to fit in the sub-genre.

5 Elements of Beach Reads to Include in Your Book

Let’s take a look at what books need to be considered a beach read. A book must:

1. Have a protagonist readers can root for.

For your book to be a beach read, your main character needs to be someone your readers want to root for. This character should be flawed, so they come across as real. You don’t want them to pile on too many flaws that the story goes too dark.

2. Add romance.

A dash of romance is key for beach reads. Readers who love the sub-genre fully expect some sort of romantic relationship to brew between the protagonist and another character.

3. Deliver a happy ending.

And readers want beach reads to offer a happy ending. This is an element you must be able to deliver. Your readers are counting on everything working out by the last page with all the characters getting the happiness they wanted.

4. Be set somewhere warm (and beachy).

Choose a warm, beachy location for your setting is implied. But, your setting should actually be written as if it’s one of the characters in your book. The location and climate should have prominence in your story.

5. Keep a fast pace.

You’re aiming for a page-turner that your readers don’t want to put down because they need to find out what happens next. The reason you need a fast pace is because you’re writing a book that people should be able to start and finish during a week-long summer vacation.

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