One of the craziest things about trying to get a book published is the process of querying publishers and agents with “comps” – other books that compare to yours. Publishers and agents look for this as a kind of shorthand to tell them what your book is about and who is likely to buy it. They want to know where it would sit on a bookstore shelf and how they would market it.
Basically, it’s like, “the characters of X meet in the setting of Y”, or” fans of X will love Y”. In other words, it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll.
I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with some good titles to use as comparatives and got to thinking, what if my book was a movie before a book? Who would play the characters and maybe showing vs. telling is a more accurate method of finding comparatives.
So here's the casting couch for my novel My Beautiful Mistake:
From top left:
Kittie, insecure and cunning, she will stop at nothing to protect the woman she loves.
Nora, naïve and flighty, she fights to make her dreams a reality through upward mobility.
Gran, fiercely superstitious, her loyalty and wisdom could help steer Kittie in the right direction. If only she’d listen.
Joe, damaged from the war, unable to find his way back.
Peggy, hardened by life, choices made during the war will have devastating consequences to those around her.
Freddie, blackmailer and devious opportunist, he doubles down on his scheme to profit from an alleged spy ring.
Grace, saucily sexy, she carries on a taboo affair with an NCO.
Pat, sturdy and kind, the rock upon which the others rely.
Matron, takes no prisoners and gets the job done.
Kittie’s father, firmly on the side of right.
Kittie’s mother, fragile to the point of breaking.
Roy, Kittie’s brother, learning to deal with the aftermaths of war.
As I continue struggling to find a couple of books I can use as comparatives, let me know if you think of any. I’d love to hear your suggestions. Rewards for anyone who comes up with something useable!
Keep wearing those masks and washing those hands. Keep the virus at bay so we can send kids to school in the Fall, reopen businesses, and everyone has more time to read.
Until next time, happy reading!