Using Comparisons to Uniquely Position an Author’s Book


Or …  How to Get More Attention for Your Book

We have discussed the importance of positioning your book many times before…and for a recent refresher, read this, but there is always something new to consider.

Another fantastic way to position your book, and tell potential readers what your book is about, is through comparisons.

What are comparisons?

A comparison is taking two or more different elements, putting them together, and saying, “This is what my book is about.” Or, “This is what I’m about.”

Let me give you a few examples:

“This book is a cross between Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love, and Gabby Bernstein’s, The Universe has your back.” Those familiar with the works of Williamson and Bernstein would immediately have an understanding of this new author.

Or, “This book is a cross between The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, and Winnie the Pooh.” An interesting combination. Of course, you would then include a clarifying sentence explaining why this is so or you risk leaving the reader totally in the dark and confused.

Another possibility: How about, “This book is a cross between Fifty Shades of Grey and Hawaii 5-0.” Hmmmm…

Comparisons don’t have to be book titles; They could be a comparison of authors. For example, author Patti Clark is described as a cross between Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia Cameron. That sounds very promising since these two authors are very well known within certain markets. Even if you don’t know who Patti Clark is yet, you have an idea of what kind of writer she is.

Here is another way to use comparisons: I have a client who works in the purpose field, which is a very, very crowded space.  What we came up with for positioning his book made a huge difference because it eliminated an enormous amount of time and confusion trying to explain how he’s different from everyone else talking about purpose. Once we nailed it, he got it, and others got it too, including media. It is making a huge difference in his reach and impact.

So what was the comparison we came up with that made such a huge difference for him?  –Don’t be fooled by the simplicity here. Some of the biggest Ah Ha’s are very, very simple:

“When it comes to purpose, Zack picks up where Simon Sinek leaves off.”

That’s it. One line. One line that took awhile to get to, but once we did, it’s making a huge difference.

Sinek is known for getting readers and audiences excited about having a “why” but then…that’s it. It’s right at that moment that Zach comes in with the specific action steps needed to create purpose and then how to use them. His positioning is different from Simon’s even though they both share the purpose space. It makes sense and it works.

Zach started using this in all of his materials for media, speaking, and his own content generation. When you hit on the right positioning for your book, you will know it.

Comparisons allow your readers to understand you at a deeper level, quickly.

It’s important to note that the wrong comparisons can work against you, so it’s worth mentioning some of the pitfalls of using this strategy.

When trying to create a shortcut to understanding what you and/or your book is about, keep these things in mind:

1. Don’t make the comparison so dramatic that people don’t believe it.

For example, “This book is a combination of The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and  The Sorcerer’s Stone.” Both were megabestsellers and to use them as a comparison for your book will cause doubt. Not only that, a lot of people actually use  those titles as a comparison to their books, so they get overused.

Bottom line: Don’t compare your book to mega bestsellers.

2. Equally important: Don’t compare your book to those no one has ever heard of before. You don’t want to be obscure. Find a middle ground that makes sense and use that.

Bottom line: Don’t compare your book to obscure ones.

3. When considering using comparisons, here are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your comparison realistic and believable?
  • Are the titles you’re comparing your book to fairly current? Pick books that were published within the last couple of years.
  • Is your book in the same genre as the books you’re comparing it to? If you’re writing a self-help book, then comparing it to a horror book is not the best choice.
  • Is your market the same as the books you’re using for comparison? Similar to the question above, except it’s more about the readers. If your book is targeted toward millennials or baby boomers, your comparison books should be as well.

There is no doubt about it. We live in a busy, noisy world. Being able to get the point quickly is a skill that will serve you forever. One way to get your potential readers and media to understand who you are and what you book is about quickly, is to use comparisons.

Good luck, and have fun!

To your success!


P.S. If you’re ready to take your book efforts to the next level, then maybe it’s time for a Media Strategy Session. Take a step toward your future and let’s talk about it.

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