I’m going to admit it outright: I’m kinda the worst at comp titles.
Comp titles aka comparable titles are the titles of books or even (sometimes) movies or TV shows that, taken together, help to better explain and sell your book. I can give a dozen different pieces of advice – look for specific aspects to highlight, go for feel, make it recent, make it this meets that – but I’d feel phony doing so because I’ve never been any good at it.
Despite all the amazing advice – some of which I’m sure you’ll hear from my fellow Debs this week – I still can’t turn off the part of my brain that has to point out all the ways a potential comp isn’t like my book. And – at least at the time of querying – I just didn’t have the distance or experience to be able to evoke certain feelings or emotions from using comps.
Thankfully, the fact that I can’t come up with comps to save my life hasn’t been a dealbreaker for anyone. So take heart – no comps aren’t going to hurt you. But bad comps might, so be careful.
Now that I’ve admitted to being bad at good comp titles, I’m going to lean into this and give you five really bad comp titles for the Perfect Assassin (kids, don’t do this at home):
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – TPA does have a hint of madness, more than a few conflagrations, and some dark family secrets.
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – They both share a wise old man, although Kaseem’s a fair bit crankier and a whole lot less of a wizard than Gandalf.
The Odyssey by Homer – TPA sounds great read aloud!
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – Okay pretty much the exact opposite of this.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Well they’ve both got murder!
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