I have done a number of posts regarding comp titles, most of which also apply to non-fiction picture books, but have yet to specifically address this niche. I will preface this by saying I do NOT write non-fiction… so… I would love your input in the comments below. If you have not read my previous posts on comp titles, you can find them here:
Finding comp titles for your Non-fiction manuscript is very similar to the process for fiction picture books, but I think you may be faced with some extra challenges including fewer options. Additionally, many new PBs which have a great deal of factual information, are not strictly non-fiction, but a hybrid of some type. Does that mean you can only use comps that are exactly the same in structure, subject matter, point of view, etc? Not necessarily. If you can justify your comparison -- go for it.
I am not going to go into all of the different types of non-fiction picture books -- that would be a blog post of it’s own (and one I am not qualified to write). However, I would suggest that you ask yourself the following questions before embarking on a search for comps:
What is the STRUCTURE or FORMAT of my picture book?
(Ex: Biography, Creative or Narrative Non-Fiction, Poetry, Diary, etc.)
These two picture books are both biographical, but take liberties with the storyline.
What is the point of view of your manuscript?
Both of these picture books are told by a non-human main character who shares his own facts along the way (in a humorous manner).
Does your picture book address STEM topics?
These two picture books approach STEM topics in different ways, particularly structure. Although they are fiction, they inform STEM topics in developmentally appropriate (kid-friendly) ways.
What is the subject matter of your picture book?
So, when looking for comp titles for your picture books, dig deep - your answer could be buried. And remember, never comp unless you’ve read it. Enjoy!