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What Are Comp Titles?: Really Useful Links by Amanda J Evans

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Article by Amanda J Evans ©.
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In this week’s column I thought I’d take a look at comp titles and comp authors. What they are and why they are useful. This is an area I really struggled with when putting together my query letter for my novel Winterland. Finding books and authors to compare my story with was a challenge if nothing else. I worried that if I chose a big author or a really popular book that agents might think I was being egotistical. If I chose an unknown…well that wouldn’t get me anywhere either. I read an interesting article on comp titles last week which is what spurred me to look a little closer at this topic. I hope you enjoy the links I’ve chosen. There is a link for self-published authors as well and how comp authors can help with your marketing endeavours.

  1. http://authornews.penguinrandomhouse.com/comp-titles-an-elevator-pitch-for-your-book/: Comp Titles – An Elevator Pitch for Your Book: This article is from Penguin Random House and who better than a publisher to explain comp titles and why they are useful. Comp titles stands for comparison titles and are books that are similar to yours in one of two different ways. This is explained fully in the article before it moves on to talk about what makes a good comp title and how as a writer you can find comp titles. Definitely worth taking the time to read if you are planning on submitting a novel to publishers or agents.
  2. https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/writers/advice/1308/preparing-for-submission/how-to-find-a-literary-agent/: 4 Tips for Choosing the Right Comparative Titles: This article is a short read but if you are looking for some useful tips on choosing comp titles, it’s great. It tells you what to do and what not to do along with providing some great examples.
  3. https://blog.nathanbransford.com/2018/04/how-to-come-up-with-good-comp-titles-for-your-book: How to come up with good comp titles for your book: In this article, Nathan Bransford shares his advice on comp titles and provides examples of things that work. He explains what a good comp title should do and shows the way you can word them. The article ends with information on submitting to literary agents and how to place comp titles in your query letter.
  4. https://careerauthors.com/comparable-titles/: Comparable Title: This article by literary agent Paula Munier explains what comp titles are and what it means to a literary agent when you don’t have any. She also explains why it’s vital you know your market and your comps and end with a comp checklist that all writers can use.
  5. https://www.ingramspark.com/blog/comp-titles-what-are-they-and-why-do-they-matter: Comp Titles What they are and why do they matter: This article by Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts is great for both traditional and self-published authors and takes a look at how comp titles can be used for marketing purposes too. She covers a number of different areas including how to do your research, the importance of category research, and more.
  6. https://davidgaughran.com/2019/07/11/comp-authors-advertising-marketing-titles/: How to find your comp authors: David Gaughran takes a different approach to comp titles focusing instead on comp authors and how those in self-publishing can use them to their advantage when it comes to marketing. He starts off by explaining what comp authors are and then how you can reframe this concept to use it to your advantage. It’s a lengthy article, but if you are interested in self-publishing, it’s a must read.

I hope you enjoyed the links and I look forward to bringing you some more Really Useful Links next week. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.

(c) Amanda J Evans

www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans


Amanda J Evans is an award-winning Irish author of YA and Adult romance in paranormal and fantasy genres. Growing up with heroes like Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones, her stories centre on good versus evil with a splice of love and magic thrown in too. Her books have all won awards and her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, won the Book of the Year Award at the Dublin Writers Conference 2018. Amanda has been featured in a number of poetry anthologies in 2017 and 2018 including A Bowl of Irish Stew, a charity anthology for Pieta House and her short story Moonlight Magic was included in the Owl Hollow Press Anthology, Under the Full Moon’s Light, published in October 2018. Amanda is currently polishing her novel, Winterland, which will be submitted to agents and publishers in 2019, and is also working on a Bronte inspired story for an anthology due for publication in 2020. Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com, Facebook and Twitter: @amandajevans