Here’s the final portion of a marketing plan:
Books That Compete or Compare With Yours (Comp Titles): “What books are similar to yours, in terms of shared audience or similar literary quality or subject matter?…Comparative titles…help your publicist frame a pitch for the book.”
Be sure to list the title, author, publisher, publication date, and ISBN of all comp titles.
Comp titles for MAY B.:
• OUT OF THE DUST: Karen Hesse, Scholastic, 1997, ISBN: 0-590-37125-8 (historical novel-in-verse set during the Oklahoma Dust Bowl)
• HATTIE BIG SKY: Kirby Larson, Random House Children’s Books, 2006, ISBN: 978-0-385-73595-7 (historical mid-grade about a girl homesteader making it on her own)
• Little House on the Prairie Series: Laura Ingalls Wilder, HarperCollins
• PRAIRIE SONGS: Pam Conrad, HarperCollins, 1985, ISBN: 0-06-021336-1 (historical mid-grade which contrasts an established frontier family with a new one)
• RULES: Cynthia Lord, Scholastic, 2006, ISBN: 0-439-44382-2 (contemporary mid-grade about autism)
• Joey Pigza series: Jack Gantos, HarperCollins (contemporary mid-grade about ADHD)
Professional and Personal Contacts: “Let your publisher know how your friends and associates will help make the book a success.” Can your librarian aunt arrange a speaking engagement at her local branch? Can you camp out at your college roommate’s place while signing books in her community? Start thinking through ways your contacts, friends, and family might help support/promote your book. Think creatively but stay sensible. Be sure to respect your contacts’ time and interest level.
If you haven’t already, start a mailing list database. “Concentrate on developing a core list of people who care about you and your books.” This is where your target audience list can come in handy.
Prior Public Speaking and Media Experience: If your day job includes public speaking, if you’ve ever been interviewed by the media, here’s the place to list it. “Be specific and name the groups you’ve spoken to and attach any significant press clips to the marketing plan.”