From Nathan Bransford:
I know that the vast majority of authors haven’t worked in the publishing industry and aren’t spending their days acquainting themselves with its ins and outs. I know that for the uninitiated it’s increasingly difficult to tell the difference between traditionally published books and self-published books. I know you would rather just write your books and coast to fame and fortune without lifting another finger.
But real talk: If you don’t know where your book fits in the market and can’t come up with some comp titles published in the last 5-10 years, there’s really only one reason: you just haven’t done the research.
It takes hundreds of hours to write a novel. You can afford to spend an extremely important 2-3 hours clicking around on Google and Amazon to research what else is out there.
. . . .
it’s not enough to just write a good book and then let the magic of publishing take care of the rest. There was never a time when someone could “just be a writer” and it’s certainly not true now.
There are many, many reasons it pays to know where your book fits in the market, but they all really boil down to this:
- You must know what differentiates your book as you’re pitching and promoting it.
If you’re pursuing traditional publishing, you’re going to have to write a query letter. If you’re pursuing self-publishing, you’re going to have to write good jacket copy, or at least know what good jacket copy looks like. If you’re planning a marketing campaign or social media presence, it’s helpful to know where your audience is and what they’re reading.
In order to really know why your book is special, you should know what else is out there. You should know who your potential readers are. And in order to do that, you have to have a sense of the landscape.
Link to the rest at Nathan Bransford