Our task for today is to take your book idea and find comparative and competitive titles. While books have a better chance of getting published when they’re unique, they also need already existing titles around to show there’s a market for this sort of book.
For my poetry book, I can find quite a few books that are similar (more on that below). So here’s what I’ll write for each similar book:
- Book title.
- Publication date.
- Amazon sales rank.
- Similarities in this book with mine.
Here’s an example:
The Teachers & Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padgett (Teachers & Writers Collaborative). Pub date: June 1, 2000. Amazon rank: 45,297. Similarities: Both books provide poets with poetic forms and terms. Differences: My book would actually contain even more poetic forms, and it would provide extra instruction and advice on poetic craft and how to find success with poetry publishing and promotion.
Then, I would continue to do this with other poetry craft and business titles, including the Poet’s Market book that I edit. Amazon is a good tool for finding comparative and competitive titles, as is your local bookstore.
So yes, I’m giving you permission to hit your local bookstore(s)–and call it “work.” Because you’ll be doing “research.”
Write a book in 12 weeks!
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing books like Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, Guide to Self-Publishing, and others. He also maintains multiple writing-related blogs, writes an article for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online and in-person education, and more. A previous Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, Brewer is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems. Read a recent interview with him here and/or follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.
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