Every time, and I mean every time, I submit to my publisher and/or an agent, they ask for comp titles. Don't get caught flat-footed. Do the research before you get ready to submit. Know where your book fits into the literary marketplace. When a publisher sees the comp titles, they start to figure out where to market your book.
If you're struggling to find comps, ask one of your critique partners or BETA readers as they may have a more objective view of your story. Or, do the research:
So, how do you do that? Well, reading voraciously helps. I sometimes offer comp title suggestions to my students, and I can do that because I have read a wide-variety of books and I notice similarities. Note that comps work when the similar work is well-known. If you give a comp that's obscure, you're giving the impression that there's no market for your book. Eek, that's not what you want to do!
In the end, comparable-titles are a way to demonstrate your knowledge of your genre and the literary marketplace. They're also shorthand for a longer discussion on market, niches, etc. If you have to do the research, and for reasons beyond me you don't ask a librarian, at least have fun with it!
Post your comp titles in the comments below.
Writer Reference (Blogroll)
Show Don't Tell
Wired for Story
Genre by any other name
He for She
A Little is Enough
Writing 17 minutes at a time
The Unlisted List:
The best women nonfiction writers.
Aubrey Hirsh' Beginner's Guide to publishing with format templates and more
Agent Query 15 posts on writing query ltrs
Platform Action Plan
Writer, college professor, lover of story, fan of all things bookish. Plus chocolate, because who doesn't love chocolate.