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Comp Title Help?

Traditional Publishing

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#1 Emily804

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 11:54 AM

What are some good resources for finding comp titles?

 

How do you check the success rate of sales for the book and, once you know how successful it was, how do you decide if it was successful enough but not too successful?

 

Do you need comp titles in your query?


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#2 Springfield

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:47 PM

I'd focus on how it's a comp, not how well the comp sold. 

 

Resources for finding them are ... reading? 

 

They're not mandatory in a query unless the agent you're querying asks for them, and a bunch do, but given a bunch do, it's safer to have them on hand.



#3 Nessa

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:20 PM

You get a feel of good comps by immersing yourself in the community. Read recently published books in your age category and genre (ex: YA fantasy published in last 5 years). They should be published by Big 5 publishers or strong independents.
 
Check out the review counts on Amazon and Goodreads to get a feel for the popularity. Check out the sales rankings. You can comp titles that are #1 bestsellers, but if they have viewable adaptations (TV/film) or massive fandoms, they're outliers. Once an author has at least one viewable adaptation, all their books are outliers. Try to avoid outliers, but if you must use one, balance it out with a non-outlier.
 
Agents have different perspectives on comps. Some want them to be published within the past 5 years, some want within the past 3 years. Some only want book comps, others don't mind movie or video game comps. And some would rather have no comps than decent comps.
 
It really depends on who you're querying.

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#4 Emily804

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:30 PM

 

You get a feel of good comps by immersing yourself in the community. Read recently published books in your age category and genre (ex: YA fantasy published in last 5 years). They should be published by Big 5 publishers or strong independents.
 
Check out the review counts on Amazon and Goodreads to get a feel for the popularity. Check out the sales rankings. You can comp titles that are #1 bestsellers, but if they have viewable adaptations (TV/film) or massive fandoms, they're outliers. Once an author has at least one viewable adaptation, all their books are outliers. Try to avoid outliers, but if you must use one, balance it out with a non-outlier.
 
Agents have different perspectives on comps. Some want them to be published within the past 5 years, some want within the past 3 years. Some only want book comps, others don't mind movie or video game comps. And some would rather have no comps than decent comps.
 
It really depends on who you're querying.

 

 

I like the kind who like no comps.

 

I've been hesitant to use any NYT bestsellers because I thought they would fall under the category of outliers, but thanks for pointing out that if they have a on-screen adaptation that's what makes them unusable. I want to use Warcross by Marie Lu as a comp, but I don't know if it's too successful. Marie Lu almost got a movie deal for her book Legend, but so far, no movie has been made yet. 


Query Compatibility YA sci-fi: http://agentquerycon...lity-ya-sci-fi/


#5 Springfield

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 10:57 PM

I like the kind who like no comps.

 

I've been hesitant to use any NYT bestsellers because I thought they would fall under the category of outliers, but thanks for pointing out that if they have a on-screen adaptation that's what makes them unusable. I want to use Warcross by Marie Lu as a comp, but I don't know if it's too successful. Marie Lu almost got a movie deal for her book Legend, but so far, no movie has been made yet. 

 

That sort of thing is fine. 

 

Too successful is generally stuff that'd make an agent think you don't actually know the genre -- you only know the huge best sellers everyone, even people who barely read anything, have heard of or seen the movie of (why books with movie adaptations are unwise, makes agents think you don't read).

 

It may sound inane to think agents would think someone pitching a book they wrote doesn't read, but there are tons of people out there who are in that exact position.



#6 Nessa

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 06:48 PM

I like the kind who like no comps.

 

I've been hesitant to use any NYT bestsellers because I thought they would fall under the category of outliers, but thanks for pointing out that if they have a on-screen adaptation that's what makes them unusable. I want to use Warcross by Marie Lu as a comp, but I don't know if it's too successful. Marie Lu almost got a movie deal for her book Legend, but so far, no movie has been made yet. 

 

My impression is that Marie Lu isn't an outright outlier, but she's one of the superstar YA authors. Leigh Bardugo is in a similar realm. I recommend staying away from superstar authors (even if they don't have viewable adaptations), the exception being that they're a really â€‹good fit. 


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