Question & AnswersCategory: Generalquestion-for-polly-on-comparison-titles-in-queries
Nadine R asked 2 years ago

A lot of agents request to see comparison titles in queries. Do you prefer to see them as well? Do you have any tips on choosing suitable comparison titles without appearing over-ambitious or without losing the \”originality\” feel of the manuscript?

1 Answers
Polly Nolan Staff answered 2 years ago

Dear Nadine
Apologies for taking so long to reply to your mail. I’ve discovered this morning a batch of questions that, for reasons unknown, went into our ‘junk’ folder.  Yours was amongst them.
I don’t need to see comparison titles.  The reason some agents ask for them is that they help quickly to give a busy agent an idea of the sort of book you’ve written, and the market at which it is aimed.  If you’re able to communicate this info succinctly in a different way, that’s absolutely fine.
You are right in your instinct to err against appearing over-ambitious.  Many years ago I was lucky enough to work with a brilliant and experienced editor who used to warn against comparing a debut novel to a classic or a bestseller.  He said that, by doing so, you inadvertently set it up for a fall.  I’ve always felt those were wise words.
Polly