Looking at comparative titles, or comp titles, is a great way to understand the market potential of a book project. To put it simply, a comp title is an already published book that has shared sales, genre, and marketing qualities to a developing manuscript that hasn’t been released yet. We use comp titles in publishing because they contextualize the future of an acquired manuscript by giving us information on how similar books performed, and they also help us strategize our marketing efforts as a project goes through the publishing process. But what makes a good comp title?
You’ve probably never heard of Litsy, and you’re not the only one. But what is it exactly? Litsy is a mobile iOS app (an Android version is in the works) that launched in the spring of 2016 by the founders of Out Of Print, a clothing company all about books. It brands itself as “a place to organize, interact with, and document all things books,” and Bookriot has deemed it as what would result “if Instagram and Goodreads had a perfect baby.” The layout looks and feels like the Instagram app, and similarly, you can scroll through a timeline of images uploaded by users. If you want to find something more specific—perhaps you are looking for reviews on a book you are considering purchasing—you can use the search tool to find authors, titles, etc. Essentially, it is an ideal marketing tool for those wishing to promote upcoming titles.
Everything in book marketing requires advance planning. So even before your beloved project reaches the eyes of millions of readers, we are strategizing ways to sustain a productive life long after it publishes. We do this because evergreen and backlist titles are huge assets to supporting the press as a whole. So when the excitement dials back after a book’s release, we look for ways to support it long after as a backlist title.
Ooligan Press gives graduate students the unique opportunity to produce a book from acquisitions to publication. However, much of the work we do as students in the publishing program involves marketing our books. Students are either brainstorming ways to promote our releases by looking for target audiences, producing marketing documentation, or doing dozens of other marketing related assignments throughout our degrees. Some of those tasks may feel nebulous at first, and we know some of our incoming students aren’t completely aware of how to perform some of the assignments given by project managers. So as a way to inform those who are unfamiliar with what the marketing department does, we are dedicating this week’s blog to elucidate how the marketing department can help you.
In this ever-changing world, one thing remains constant: we have to fight for what we want. For an author in the publishing world, this means promoting yourself. Fight for your book.
At the end of the day, my job is really about creating shareable, engaging content. By posting about Ooligan books long before and after they’re published, my goal is to start a discussion, to get people jazzed about our books.