How To Use ‘Same-Same But Different’ to Get Published

What may come as a shock to some writers is that many agents and publishers need to fall in love with your idea, as well as you (as someone they want to work with) often before even reading your work.

You need to hook potential agents and publishers with something that sparks their interest. You also need to help them understand how you and your work are ‘sellable’.

Why? Because agents and publishers only make money if your books sell. A good agent/publisher knows the market and the readers, so they will want to determine from the outset what your commercial appeal is.

The good news is that you can increase the chances of agents and publishers buying into you and your work with a simple concept: Same, Same but Different.

As part of your pitching and querying, you will want to make clear your ‘Same, Same but Different’ proposition.

Same, Same

Same, same refers to how you and your work are similar to other authors and books.

Do you have good comparison authors and/or books that are similar to what you have to offer?

If not, start researching and come up with some.

You will want to choose comparison authors or titles that are well known within your genre and preferably they should be fairly recent examples to demonstrate you understand the current market.

The purpose of comparison titles/authors is to help agents/publishers understand where your book would sit on the bookshelf. Where would your work fit in the marketplace?

Do the hard work for them and give them relevant examples. For example, if you are writing a story about a female assassin in Regency England you might say it’s Atomic Blonde meets Pride and Prejudice. The comparisons don’t always have to be books, they can also be films or TV series, for instance.

If your work is particularly unique or you really want to get someone’s attention you can choose comparison titles that are very different from each other, as shown above, which brings us to ‘Different’.


To use a well-known marketing term what’s your point-of-difference or unique selling point (relating to you and/or your writing)?

Your difference is important after demonstrating where you fit in the marketplace, because you need to show what would make someone choose you or your book over a similar author or title.

This can be achieved quickly and easily in your pitch by using clever comparison titles or adding to your comparison spiel.

Let’s say you’re writing a contemporary love story about zombies. Then the same, same but different proposition may be: It’s the Notebook meets the Walking Dead or It’s the Notebook with zombies.

Okay, so the above examples are fairly unique sounding concepts so the same, same but different is a little easier. For less obvious differences you may need to dig a little deeper, but this is incredibly important if you want to get an agent or traditional publisher.

If the plot isn’t typically unique is there something unique about the setting, the points of view used, the structure of the book? Is there a unique reason you are the best person to write this book?

So what are you waiting for? Get started on your Same, Same but Different today.

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Kylie Fennell
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