<div>I wonder if anyone has a view on the issue of comparative novels in the query letter?</div><div>
Here’s the thing – I just can’t find ANYTHING quite like my novel. It’s not like I haven’t read any books – I reckon I’ve read over 1000 – I just can’t think of anything that I could reference which would add value to my proposition. If anything, referencing other writers feels disingenuous as I would just be doing it for the sake of it.
Furthermore, if I did site other works, I think it would just end up being counter-productive. Having done some research and found authors who are writing in the same genre, every time I think ‘No, no, no. My book’s not like that! If I reference that, I’m leading you up the wrong path completely.’
Siting comparative titles seems to be something you just can’t leave out of your letter. So the question is – what if you do?
Here’s a summary of the style of my book:
The Painting is a political novel of 100,000 words set in the pre-Brexit world of 2015. It covers contemporary themes of racism, colonialism, right-wing popularism and the social and personal injustices that these cause.
Is it fair to leave it at that? To be kind of saying to agents ‘You do the math?’
That said – anyone got any ideas?
Footnote: Reading this back it sounds like I’m saying I have written something so extraordionary that it brooks no comparison. Sadly this is not true!