Category Archives: Comps

10 Ways to Find “Comps” For Your Book

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“Comps” are other book titles that might be comparable to your book.  The main purpose for comps is to show who your readers are likely to be and to show where your book might be shelved in a bookstore.   Often agents, publishing sales people or booksellers need this information to understand more about your book.  It gives them a better idea for categorizing your title. If you are self-publishing, comps are a guide to the readers you want to reach. So how do you find comps for your book?  Here are a few ideas –

  • Look up the Best Sellers in the last few years for your genre
  •  Check out  more recent books with similar themes or point of view
  • Utilize your local library to locate books you can read or listen to without having to purchase them.  See if your library uses Novelist Plus which allows you to search for books by theme, genre and appeal.  You can also ask your librarian.
  • Use social media sites to find out what is popular in that genre
  •  If you are in any writing groups, ask other writers or readers what they would recommend 
  • Film and TV can be used as comps as well as books. If it gives a reliable comparison of what you are writing, then use it. Sometimes a visual is the best explanation. (If you use media, be sure to clarify your source)
  • Describe what part of a plot or characterization might be like your book.
  • Try not to compare your book to one that is too far out of date unless it is very well known and liked. Let people know that you are keeping up with the marketplace.
  • Barnes & Noble and Amazon show a lot of sales data that can be beneficial for comps. People often buy items that are similar. Especially when it comes to books, you can enter a title on their sites and then look for books that are recommended that appear under these headers:

     “Customers who bought this also bought . . .” (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) “Frequently bought together” (Amazon)

    “What customers bought after viewing this” (Amazon)

  • You can also ask people who have read your book for some suggestions.

TIP – Avoid saying that your book is better than someone’s title or classic.  It might be better, but you don’t want to be the one to say it.  Attacking another author only puts a negative spotlight on you. Reading is subjective, and what you hated, others might love.  So, compare your book to others that you admire or respect.

Are you influenced by other comparable titles?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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