Writing Business

Knowing Your Competition

Cheri Cowell here—

Cheri Cowell
Cheri Cowell

When authors are asked about their book’s competition, sometimes they are hesitant to respond. They might be fearful of sounding critical of others or too highly of themselves. But, knowing your competition and how you are positioned with them is critical not only to completing that pesky part of the proposal, but also in selling your book. You want to learn the competition dance.

The first step in the dance is reading the books similar to yours in genre, subject matter, and theme. You should have read the top five, if not more. As you read, note how your book is similar to them. Is it similar in content, layout, point-of-view, or conclusion? Answer the “If you like this book then you’ll love my book because” question. Then determine how your book is different. Be specific. Do you have different experience, a different approach, or a different conclusion? In fiction, is your story coming from a different POV then another story told during the same time period or with a similar plotline?