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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Book Proposals & Query Letters by Coleen O'Shea, Marilyn Allen

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Become the Resident Expert

Now that you’ve identified the books that are direct competitors, jotted down their title and author, and compiled a working knowledge of their popularity, you are ready to analyze the data.
The challenge here is to show why your book is different—and better. Spend as much time as needed to become fully acquainted with the books. The agent and editor will expect you to be the resident expert on what is happening in your area. There is an expression, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” In other words, the more you know what the competition looks and sounds like, the better able you will be to differentiate yours from the pack.
Now for the interesting part! What makes your book different than the ...

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