Is this crucial element missing from your book proposal?

A solid book proposal will contain a “Comparative Analysis” section. We can be tempted to skip over this section or treat it lightly.

In today’s Tuesday Tip we share the 4 questions and answer to determine why a comparative analysis is worth it.

Why do you need a Comparative Analysis?

Editors and marketing teams use this section of the proposal. It’s key in pub board. This information helps a team determine how your proposed book is different from books currently on the market.

If a book (or several similar books) is already on the market, why would a publisher want to invest in your book? While the editor may have loved your idea, the marketing and sales team need to know that it will stand strong in the market.

A strong Comparative Analysis section in your proposal shows that you have a solidly different or unique angle on a topic, or your story or life experience adds a twist or experience that will resonate with an audience.

How do you begin the research?

Let’s imagine that your proposed book is on the topic of marriage. There are a lot of books on the market about marriage.

But what is the angle of your topic? If your proposed book’s theme is about restoring a marriage, type in those words in a search engine or on or other distribution sites. Select a few books that have been traditionally published in the last few years.

TIP: Note the Amazon ranking to determine whether a book is widely read.

Do I have to read every book?

While you are not required to read every book in its entirety, do your research.
Read the synopsis. Read a few of the reviews. Check out the content of the book. If possible, read sample chapters.

What’s next?

Once you create a list of comparative books, you are ready to write your comparative analysis section.
List three to five books in your proposal. Share the title, date published, publisher, along with a brief synopsis of each book. Then, share briefly how your proposed book differs.
TIP: Never compare a book or author negatively. Your only goal is to find the similarities and why your book is different or offers a different value.
One More Try: What to Do When Your Marriage is Falling Apart by Gary Chapman; Moody Publishers; May, 2014 (Amazon ranking: 15,125)

In One More Try, Gary Chapman shows you how you can give your marriage another shot, even if you are separated. Chapman believes the outcome is determined solely by the individuals involved, and the author helps the reader walk step-by-step towards healing and hope. While Chapman’s book offers advice for the marriage affected by fighting or broken trust, my book {insert title here} reaches the woman whose marriage is secure but buffeted by actions and words of dysfunctional relatives.

Your Turn

Take a moment and do a brief search of books that are comparable to your book idea. Leave a comment on the COMPEL blog and let us know how is your book similar? How is your book different?


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  1. This was the main piece I was struggling with in my book proposal and was just what I needed! Thank you!

  2. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung; Catapult Publishers; October, 2018 (Amazon ranking: 14,343, #17 in Adoption books)

    In All You Can Ever Know, Nicole Chung shares the candid story of her transracial adoption. All You Can Ever Know chronicles Chung’s search for her biological family while beginning a family of her own. Chung was able to communicate with her adopted , but she still longed to know the truth of her birth. While Chung’s book offers insight for adoptees who long for answers about identity and belonging, my book Created for His Glory reaches the adoptee who has more questions than answers and who must trust God to locate all of the missing pieces in her story.

  3. I appreciate this so much! I had listed a few similar books but did not investigate their purpose and note so specifically how my book is different. Thank you for this detail.