As part of the querying process, many literary agents request you come up with some “comps” for your novel. A comp title is a previously published book that is similar to yours, either in content or audience. It serves to give agents and publishers a quick reference for what your book is like, how your book might do in terms of sales, and what your intended audience might be.
I knew right off the bat what my first comp title for Regnum Terra was going to be. When I first started writing my book, I was obsessively reading The Hourglass Door trilogy by Lisa Mangum. I loved the idea of a book that straddled genres; that didn’t fit neatly into pure science-fiction, but pulled on elements from multiple genres to create something new and fascinating. (Not to mention the fact that Dante, the main love interest, was pretty much perfect in my teenage-girl mind). When I began writing my novel, I knew I wanted to incorporate the genre flexibility found in The Hourglass Door. Regnum Terra uses the trope of a strange, attractive boy who captures the attention of the protagonist, but twists the conventional to add a layer of complexity to their relationship. Hazel, the main character of Regnum Terra, already has a relationship with Alek, the attractive foreign-exchange student who shows up unexpectedly in English one day. Although she can’t remember their shared past, Hazel instantly knows that, for some reason, this guy is different.
Coming up with a second comp title for my book was much more difficult. Because Regnum Terra blends science-fiction and fantasy, I found it hard to pinpoint another book that was similar. I was doing some research this week when I had a light bulb moment for my second comp title: the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke. Inkheart also sports a strong female protagonist who discovers some strange truths about her past, and, like Regnum Terra, involves people who interact with both the “real” world and a fantasy world. I loved Inkheart when I was younger, and it made me unbelievably happy to realize that the book I had created was in any way similar to such a wonderful novel.
If you have any more comp titles for me to add to my arsenal, feel free to let me know!