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?
When most readers think of book design, they focus on the exterior aspects: the front and back covers, the jacket, the spine. Interior design is often overlooked and underestimated, and yet the work that goes into designing the words on the page is just as intensive and can be just as creative as the work that goes into designing covers. And just like cover design, different genres have different challenges and style trends for interior layout. The cardinal rule of interior layout is that the design must be invisible: the choices shouldn’t be so obvious that they distract the reader from the content of the book.
As Ooligan Press’s social media manager, one of the most common questions I receive is how to best schedule social media posts. A post that is perfectly punchy and easily searchable is worth nothing if no one sees it. So many posts are filtered through social media managers that it’s impossible to post and schedule all of them by hand, so I recommend using a scheduling software to make your job easier.
Last term, boxes were meticulously packed and labeled for either our temporary office or deep storage. Some supplies even lived in managers’ cars during the winter break. There was one item, however, that needed special attention: our 1885 Chandler & Price letterpress.
In the past, the Ooligan blog has posted some great advice about query letters. For those who have never written a query before, you should go check those out first. However, with those resources available, we wanted to dive deeper into some pitch concepts: framing and in-person pitches. While the latter will primarily be of use to those participating in Write to Publish (or similar writing conferences), framing your book correctly is useful in all cases. Doing it correctly can really give your query letter a leg up on the competition.
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.