Thursday, October 18, 2018

Why Does the Publisher Want Comparative Titles and How to Find Them

At some point in your querying process, you’ll be asked to list comparative titles. I found this request/requirement daunting and intimidating. I could not remember any books that I thought were comparable to my story. I felt defeated before I had even started.

Luckily, I have a writing community that was extremely helpful and steered me in the right direction.

Some basic facts:
1. Publishers use comp titles as a gauge to show how new titles might sell.

2. Use Amazon to start your search. Look for books that are similar to yours in subject matter, genre, age group, fiction or nonfiction. You can also pick the brain of your local librarian. Ask them if they know of similar titles to your book.

3. Don’t use bestsellers as a comp title. Chances are your book will not be a bestseller and you should look for modest-selling titles.

4. To find modest-selling titles, use Amazon to find similar titles and check the reviews. Bestsellers can have hundreds of thousands of reviews, modest-selling titles may have less than 1000.

Bonus: click Five Tips for Finding Comparative Titles for more tips, my source and more detailed information. 


  1. Great tips! I didn’t know about checking the number of reviews to determine the range of sales. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Neither did I, until I wrote the blog post! Thanks for reading and commenting.