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  • Writer's pictureLily Lawson

Shall I compare thee to Maggie O'Farrell?

Margaret Atwood? Terry Pratchett? L J Ross? Marian Keyes? Sally Rooney?

If I do, is that flattering?

If you are querying you need to find comp(arative) moderately successful books no more than five years old. You can, I am given to understand, use films, tv shows, games if that works better for a second or third comp.

If you are running Facebook ads the same idea kind of applies except you are using author names to compare with rather than specific books and it's more of a 'if you like their books you're likely to enjoy mine' vibe instead of my book is similar to this one.

It is a good idea to keep up with what's happening in your genre, it helps with book covers etc if you are self-publishing.

If you write to market you need to know if vampire steampunk romance is the way to go or rom com cannibalism.

My advice, as always, is to write as you and not try and be someone else. Nick their ideas, put a spin on it, maybe add a touch of unexpected flavour.

How would Romeo and Juliet have fared in a two up two down in Manchester with two kids and a parrot if she worked in a call centre and he drove a lorry? What if she took up am dram and the male lead fell for her charms? Or he found a transport cafe off the M1 were someone wanted to give him something more than chips? What if he turned into whoever she was fantasising about? What if she appeared whenever he thought of her?

Food for thought? Or Lily's imagination going off on a tangent again?

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