How can I determine good comparative titles to include in my query letter?

Asked by: Nana Holmes

How do I choose a comp title for a query?

There are a few different ways to find comp titles—reaching out locally, using online tools, and using bestseller lists are good places to start. If you don’t already have some clear comp titles in mind, consider asking your local independent booksellers or librarians for their advice.

Do you need Comp titles in a query letter?

Comp Titles In Your Query Letter: What You Need To Know

Usually a comp title in your query letter highlights how your book is similar to an already successful book and implies your book will be just as popular. Comp titles can also be a way to show how your book is similar yet different from well-known titles.

What should the subject of a query letter be?

It’s critical that literary agencies understand your email is a query, so start your subject line with the word “Query.” That will keep any agents from getting confused and/or wasting time trying to figure out what you want.

How do I personalize my query letter?

How (and why) to personalize a query letter

  1. Why you should personalize query letters. …
  2. Address your query to a specific agent. …
  3. Lead with the personalization. …
  4. Say something that can’t be copy/pasted about another agent. …
  5. Err on the side of the genuine… …
  6. But don’t be overly familiar. …
  7. And don’t overdo it.

What makes a good comp title?

A good comp title always communicates the plot and the setting of your book. It should give me an idea of what I’m going to get and should be adapted for your audience.

How many comps are in a query letter?

The ideal number of comp titles in a query is two or three. I recently read a query with six book comps mentioned. That writer had clearly done their research, but they need to tone it down.

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Should you personalize query letters?

If the agent or editor has said publicly they don’t like personalized queries, don’t do it. This is simple: you’ll always be a better sales person when you’re aligning your pitch with the stated desires or submission guidelines of the recipient.

How long should a query letter be?

Although literary agents don’t agree on many things when it comes to query letters, the best query letter length is something that all book agents DO agree on. The best query letter length is 1-2 pages, single-spaced, Time New Roman font, 12-point. No exceptions.

How do you write an official query?

How to Write a Query Letter in 7 Simple Steps

  1. Open the query with a greeting.
  2. Write a strong “hook” for the book.
  3. Include a story synopsis.
  4. Pitch your author credentials.
  5. Personalize to stand out from other queries.
  6. Close the letter by thanking the agent.
  7. Proofread your work.

What is the format of a query letter?

Format your query letter like a formal letter, using a traditional 11- or 12-point font (Courier or Times New Roman), single space paragraphs, and double space between each paragraph. Include the date, your name, address, phone number, and email.

What is an example of a query letter?

Example of a Query Letter

Kole, [1] According to your agency’s website you’re actively seeking middle-grade fiction, so I’m pleased to introduce my novel, A Smidgen of Sky. [2] This novel won me a scholarship to attend the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua.

How do you end a query letter?

The final paragraph of your query will be the closing, where you thank the agent for reading your letter. Do this simply and quickly, by saying something like thank you kindly for your time. In the closing, you should also mention what, if any, other material you’ve included along with the query.

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How do you defend a query letter?

In the letter, you should refer to the query served against you. Explain your situation and put up an apology to your boss. Do not try to deny the things you’ve been asked about and do not use any vague language. In the end, show that you realised that you were wrong.

How do you address an agent in a query letter?

Address the agent by name.

When sending query letters to an agent, you always want to use his or her name. Generic letters addressed to “To Whom it May Concern” or “Dear Literary Agent” are much less likely to connect with someone at an agency.

How many query letters should I send?

It’s much smarter and more effective to send out the query in batches of seven to ten at a time. When you get a rejection, send a new one out. If a few months go by and you haven’t heard from an agent, consider it a rejection and send a new one out.

Who is the best literary agent for new authors?

Best Literary Agents for New Writers | 25 Top Book Agents for First-Time Authors and Debut Authors

  • Marly Rusoff (Marly Rusoff & Associates)
  • Jenny Bent (The Bent Agency)
  • Susan Golomb (Writers House)
  • Dorian Karchmar (William Morris Endeavor)
  • Daniel Lazar (Writers House)
  • Bill Clegg (The Clegg Agency)

What is a good query request rate?

According to QueryTracker’s stats as of today (May 18, 2017), the average request rate is about 9%. If you are only hitting that rate (about 2/20 queries), you may want to go back to the drawing board and revise your query and/or sample pages.

How many agents should you query before you give up?

This is just a basic form of etiquette. No ifs, ands, or but’s about it: you should only query one agent per literary agency. It’s not cool to email multiple at once. However, once an agent declines an offer of representation to you, you can feel confident querying another relevant agent in the same agency.

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Can you query the same agent twice?

Can you query multiple agents at the same agency? Unless otherwise specified in the submission guidelines, it’s fine to query different agents at the same agency, provided they represent your genre.

How many queries does an agent get a day?

But because the interpretation of “polished” can vary widely, let’s spell out exactly what that means. Keep in mind that first, the agents we work with receive upwards of 100 queries a day and consider maybe one a day good enough to request a sample of the manuscript.

Did JK Rowling have a literary agent?

Christopher Little, who ran the agency, also managed Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling from and has been credited with single-handedly managing Rowling’s career and turning the Harry Potter franchise into a multi-million pound industry.

Do literary agents steal ideas?

Firstly, reputable publishers and agents are not in the business of ‘stealing’ work. They are inundated with plenty of writers with plenty of ideas and if yours has potential then rest assured the agent or publisher will be interested in you and your work.

Do I need to copyright my book before sending it to a publisher?

Should I Register My Story for Copyright Before Submitting It to Publishers? You can register your book before submitting it to the publisher, but there is no need to do this. It may create unnecessary confusion and extra costs down the line.