Sunday, February 26, 2017

Book comparisons: why make them?

photo by LDyck

Why prepare a list (one to three) of published books that are similar to your manuscript? Why do a book comp?

-it's an abbreviated way to present your book to an editor or an agent.

-it shows editors or agents that you have your finger on the pulse of the genre you're writing -- that you're current, that you know what's hot, that you've done your homework.

-it show that there is a potential readership for your manuscript

-it helps the publisher see where your book might fit in their catalogue

-it helps the editor or agent pitch your manuscript

-it helps you locate the right publisher -- they published that book they may be interested in publishing mine.

-finding and reading that other book might inspire you to write a new story

-it verifies that your manuscript is fresh and original

-it keeps you motivated. You get to see, feel, smell a book that is similar to what yours might look like.

Where do you find these potential comps?

-your bookshelves

-your local library

-your favourite bookstore

-publishers' catalogs

-Quill and Quire magazine

-Publishers Weekly


-Other reviewers who read your genre

Heather Ann Burnell (Submissions 101 - Finding Comparable Books) writes:  Use 'titles that are recent [within 10 years] and are in the same category or genre, have the same target audience, and are not so obscure that that the person reading your query has never heard of it' or so popular that you're seen as arrogant or lazy.

Next post:  Sunday, March 5th (approximately 5 PM PT) 
Guest post by author Linda Marshall


Darlene said...

My publisher asks me to do this and it is a good exercise.

Teresa Karlinski said...

I had no idea. Thank you for the heads up. I can see how effective this would be.

Leanne Dyck said...

Hi Darlene,
Thank you for your comment.
Not only is it a good exercise. But it's another excuse to look at awesome children's books and surf the net--fun. : )

Leanne Dyck said...

You're welcome, Tess. I'm glad I could add to your body of knowledge. There's so much to learn. It helps when we all work together and share what we discover.

Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne - My publisher required this of me. I'm glad - it was a useful exercise that I'll repeat when I submit my next book, The Business of Being.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you for your comment, Laurie. Glad you found this exercise useful.