Support for Indie Authors discussion

20 views
Marketing Tactics > Comp Title Help?

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Arwen (new)

Arwen Spicer (arwen_spicer) I’m always told comp titles are useful for both traditional publishing and marketing indie works, but I’ve had no luck finding any for my present book. (Maybe I’m being too specific?) I’m hoping someone can suggest some recent-ish, successful but not best seller titles I can check out as a possible fit.

Here’s some info. on the novel:

* Far-future social sci-fi about humans, no significant ties to Earth.
* Two cultures clash when one has to seek refuge in the other’s lands.
* Neither culture represents “us.” Both are pretty foreign.
* The two cultures are loosely “warriors” and “artists,” but neither is villainous or especially dystopian.
* There are four main characters, two from each culture. None are villains.
* The “protagonist” is kind of the hero-trying-to-save-his-people-from-invaders, but it’s an ensemble story.
* It’s adult fiction with an overall serious, somber tone but a hopeful ending.
* Beta readers noted the story has strong themes of refugee crisis and mass migration.

Here are some things I’d like to find for comp works:

* Stories that aren’t centered on a protagonist who represents “us” going to a foreign culture (or an alien coming to our culture); i.e. stories with two “not us” cultures mixing.

* Stories that aren’t strongly oriented around one protagonist, that focus on at least two perspectives.

* Stories that are not primarily marketed as “high concept.” SF stories about mind-bending stuff are popular now (like “The Arrival,” which I love). But my story is about human beings trying to get along.

* I think fantasy comps are fine. My story is SF but it may be more "fantasy" in feel.

I’d be glad of any leads! Thanks.


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4275 comments Mod
I had to look up what "comp titles" mean.

In another thread, just today, another member warned that using this tactic in your blurb can result in a warning from Amazon.

Also, note to anyone who responds to this: Please only give the title of the book. Do not post links. Thanks.


message 3: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments I didn't know what it was either.

Yes, the description is very limiting. More general, maybe one or two lines, might help.


message 4: by Arwen (new)

Arwen Spicer (arwen_spicer) M.L. wrote: "I didn't know what it was either.

Yes, the description is very limiting. More general, maybe one or two lines, might help."


Hm, two far-future human cultures thrust together struggle to coexist in a limited space.

I think the things that make this work stand out are:
1) Both cultures are "foreign." Neither is ours/stands in for ours.
2) It's a work with multiple central characters and no villains.


message 5: by Arwen (new)

Arwen Spicer (arwen_spicer) Dwayne wrote: "In another thread, just today, another member warned that using this tactic in your blurb can result in a warning from Amazon ..."

Thanks for the blurb tip. An author friend of mine who gave a blurb quote for my first book (and was about the only person who did) compared it to Dune. This ended up so awkward--in addition to being really far afield--I eventually cut that part, leaving a very short quote. :-)


message 6: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments Arwen wrote: "M.L. wrote: "I didn't know what it was either.

Yes, the description is very limiting. More general, maybe one or two lines, might help."

Hm, two far-future human cultures thrust together struggl..."


I guess 'villains' can be open to interpretation and it's hard for me to think of something without villains. The only book I can think of is Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny but that is not recent at all (per your first criteria post) and at least, to me, there are villains, lots, but it could be a matter of: if everyone is a villain then no one is a villain. :)


message 7: by Arwen (new)

Arwen Spicer (arwen_spicer) M.L. wrote: it's hard for me to think of something without villains...

Yeah, it depends on definition, I guess. There are antagonistic relationships in the book: one of the four characters probably comes across as main antagonist, but he's not "villainous" in that he's not evil, nasty, etc. He's really trying to do his best to lead his people in a situation that's a bit beyond him.

SF&F stories I've read that I would say have no villains (not good comp titles, though: too famous, for starters):

*The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, "A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" (Le Guin)
*The Making of the Representative from Planet 8 (Doris Lessing)
*The Arrival (I haven't read the story, but based on the movie.)
*Solaris (Lem)
*A Fine and Private Place (Beagle)


back to top