Deal Announcement as Comp Title?

Questions for the resident (former) agent
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Deal Announcement as Comp Title?

Post by MJKing » May 11th, 2017, 9:59 am

A recent deal announced through Publisher's Marketplace sounds similar to the novel I'm finishing up R&Rs for. Of course I panicked, but a published writer friend claims it's a good thing because it shows the current market is ready for my book. I really can't imagine the book mentioned in the deal is anything like mine, but because the boiled down concepts are similar, would that be something to mention in a query letter? i.e. "My book would appeal to fans of ****, and the upcoming ****, recently sold to Big5Publishing." Is that stepping on agents toes by making that connection for them? Or would it be good to point out the interest for this kind of book in the current market?

Thank you, Nathan!

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Deal Announcement as Comp Title?

Post by Nathan Bransford » May 11th, 2017, 1:45 pm

I would recommend against it - the reason to use comp titles for a novel isn't so much to prove there's a market for the book but to kind of place the concept in the agent's head in a smooth way. Since the agent isn't going to be particularly familiar with the book that just sold, I'm not sure it's going to accomplish that. I definitely agree with your writer friend that another similar book in the pipeline isn't necessarily going to mess up your chances, but I could also see an agent potentially think twice about it.

I don't think you can *really* go wrong here, so don't overthink it, but my inclination would be to let sleeping dogs lie on that one.

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