Marketplace comparisons are a key component of book proposals. You must give an overview of a category, provide details about five or six bestsellers in the genre, and explain how your book will fare against them. How can you get that information?
5 Ways To Do Marketplace Research for Book Proposals
- Find books yours will compete against by researching your genre’s bestseller lists in a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites.
- Research current and past sales rankings on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.
- Mine authors’ websites and Facebook pages for information about sales, rankings, awards and other data.
- Interview book store owners or managers. Ask them what does, doesn’t, and might sell.
- At a book store, look at the copyright dates of books in your category. What books have been in the store the longest? Only books that sell stay on the shelves.
Put all of that information – data, lists, interviews – into the marketplace comparison section of your book proposal. Yes, literary agents know more about the market than you ever will. Why do you have to do this research and writing? To demonstrate your professionalism, dedication and expertise.
Smart Author Tip: What not to write: “There is no book like mine.” If you can’t find a book like yours, there might be good reason for that. Are you sure that there is an audience for it? Fine tune your marketing plan and research.