On Publishing … and Other Forms of Insanity:
(First published on 19th April 2016, but still valid today)
If you have spent some time looking at successful queries, or browsing agent bios, you will notice that comparative titles figure prominently.
There are several very important reasons to come up with some comparative titles (aka “comps”) for your book, all of which have to do with marketing. The marketing department – and this is true of any publisher – is not going to sit down and read your book, so it is up to you to get them the information they need to help generate publicity and sales. Your agent will also need comps to pitch your book to a publisher.
Random House has put together an excellent article on why comparative titles are important, and how they are used by marketing departments. There is a useful section at the end that describes how to find comp titles, in case you are at a loss.