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Lucinda Literary Challenge, Day Two: Comps

Welcome to the second day of the Lucinda Literary Challenge! Today is all about comps.

Comparative titles, known in the industry as “comps,” are key to winning an agent or editor. Comps refer to books that “look like” yours: they’re similar in theme and you and the author share a target audience.

Comps should feature in both your query letter and your book proposal. They help to convince agents and editors of the potential success of your book: if your book is like X, and X sold well, then yours will too.

So today, we’d like you to find just two comps for your book. Here are some guiding instructions:

  • Choose titles that have been published in the last two years. You can choose a timeless bestseller dating back to many decades ago, but if you do, you should be prepared to argue its currency, and lean on more recent comps to counterbalance.
  • Choose titles that have over 50 reviews (and even better if they’re into the hundreds). This, or any bestseller list mention, is your best guess at the book having performed well.
  • Resist including only household names. Glennon Doyle, Brené Brown, John Grisham… it’s beneficial to have big goals, but you’ll meet less skepticism if you choose smaller successes by authors with similar profiles to yours.

With these tips in mind, find your two comps and share them with us on InstagramTwitter and/or LinkedIn. Remember, doing this challenge will increase your chance to win our detailed feedback and a chance at representation. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!