My publisher is trying to compile a list of “CompTitles” for my short story collection. It’s a tricky business. These titles are used to help distributors figure out how to market the book. They can use the titles as a good short hand (“This is like an Olive Kitteridge set in New York City”) when talking to bookstores so that the bookstores can figure out how many books to order/pre-order.
What they want is very specific though. A comp title should be a book published in the past 3 years that is also a short story collection, best if by another debut author, published by an independent press. If there are other connections (like it’s set in NYC, or in a park, or that the stories are all connected by place), that is also a help.
If you have any ideas that meet the above criteria, I’d love to hear them.