What Are Comp Titles

Glossary > Comp Titles

💬 Definition of Comp Titles:

Comp titles, also known as comparison titles, are similar books in content to the one you are writing. It can also mean they're comparable in expected sale rates. 

Related questions about comp titles:

Do you need comp titles?

No matter where you find yourself in your writing journey, comp titles are something you should consider. If you can narrow down your comp title list to the most relevant books, it will be easy for you, your agent, editors, publishers, booksellers, and readers to understand your style and tone of voice. 

They also prove to your editor and publisher that you know your book genre, have some assessment of the marketing tactics required to promote your book and understand sales estimates.

How do you choose comp titles?

When you want to find comp titles, establish a five-year timeframe around your publication date, and focus on books with a similar theme, style, tone, and subject. You should be checking out the titles that have been commercially successful but have yet to be best-selling. Also, avoid considering super trending books; you want to avoid looking like a copycat. 

There are several possibilities to do this research: speak to booksellers and librarians, but also use Goodreads and Amazon’s advanced search to browse categories and subcategories. Additionally, for easy access to a similar readership, be careful in reviewing the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature.

How many titles are in a comp query?

The ideal number of comp titles is two or three. An increased number shows the writer's research diligence but is not necessarily more informative for the publisher. What is essential is to read extensively within your genre to find your unique selling point for an efficient marketing strategy. 

It is not the number that is important; the book's details are valuable in deciding whether a publication is comp title material. Ask yourself:

  • Is this book recent enough?
  • Are we sharing the same demographics? 
  • Is the format the same, or should it be?
  • Are both titles published within the same genre? 

Once you have the answer to these questions, you can decide if the book you are looking for is indeed a comp title.

What are comp authors?

These are authors whose works are substantially similar to yours. They are essential for your readership as you will want your book mentioned when people talk about their books. Knowing who your comp authors are is helpful for marketing purposes and for authors to understand their niche better.

Write more.
Worry less.

Publish and distribute your books to hundreds of stores worldwide in ebook, print or audio formats.

Publish Your Book


Are you looking for something on PublishDrive?