I’m getting ready to start querying my novel

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Post by Guest »

To those who have queried their books to agents: I’m getting ready to start querying my novel. I know I’m supposed to compare my book to other published works of fiction… But what if I can’t find anything relatable?

Does that mean my book isn’t good enough to stand up to others?

Is the idea TOO original, or not original enough? Or have I just not read enough books?

Post by Denise »

It means to an agent and publisher that you haven't widely read enough, you don't know your genre well and you may not understand or connect with your audience.

That is a harsh but fairly global view of writers that can't provide comps.

Marketing is massive. It is so critical that they need to know who else has sold similar and examine the appetite and sales for those books and the expectation is that writers have done their homework in that area and understand in depth their target market and audience.

There will never not be comps so I would strongly suggest engaging with writing coaches, editors, beta reader or reading groups who are heavily read in your genre to help identify them.

Post by Paul »

By the time.you query, you should have read AT LEAST 50 books in the genre you're working in. Comps are bound to come to mind. Keep on focus that comps don't have to actually be similar subject matter, but similar feel. You can comp a sci Fi to a drama if it works.

Post by Suzanne »

You don’t have to find something that compares 100%. There are elements of other books you could use. Your book doesn’t have to be like A, but if it has the type of magic or romance, or snark, or grittiness or world building similar to it, with one of the main tropes of B or its unreliable narrator, or the sense of humor, etc.

A and B don’t have to resemble your book at all, but they are there to give the agents an idea of where to place your book on a shelf and for that you have to know where it fits into the market. I’m writing surrealism and it’s vastly different from what’s currently published, but I still have comparative titles as there’s always something to link it to.
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