A debut novel is the first novel a novelist publishes. Debut novels are often the author's first opportunity to make an impact on the publishing industry, and thus the success or failure of a debut novel can affect the ability of the author to publish in the future.First-time novelists without a previous published reputation, such as publication in nonfiction, magazines, or literary journals, typically struggle to find a publisher.
Sometimes new novelists will self-publish their debut novels, because publishing houses will not risk the capital needed to market books by an unknown author to the public.Most publishers purchase rights to novels, especially debut novels, through literary agents, who screen client work before sending it to publishers. These hurdles to publishing reflect both publishers' limits in resources for reviewing and publishing unknown works, and that readers typically buy more books by established authors with a reputation than first-time writers. For this reason, literary communities have created awards that help acknowledge exceptional debut novels.
In contemporary British and American publishing markets, most authors receive only a small monetary advance before publication of their debut novel; in the rare exceptions when a large print run and high volume of sales are anticipated, the advance can be larger.For an example of an unusually high advance: in 2013, the highly anticipated City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg captured the attention of ten publishers who started a bidding war that ended with Knopf buying the rights to the book for 2 million dollars. The book's film production rights were purchased soon after by producer Scott Rudin.
For similar reasons that advances are frequently not very large—novels frequently don't sell well until the author gains a literary reputation. There are exceptions, however; YouTuber Zoella published her debut novel Girl Online in November 2014, and the book sold 78,109 copies in Britain in its first week.The novel saw huge sales because she already had an established audience, and publishers were willing to run a large print run. By comparison, bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey sold 14,814 copies in its first week, or later popular novels, like Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone , only receive small initial print runs. Debut novels that do well will be reprinted as sales increase due to word of mouth popularity of the novels—publishers don't often run large marketing campaigns for debut novelists.
There are numerous literary prizes for debut novels often associated with genre or nationality. These prizes are in recognition of the difficulties faced by debut novelists and bring attention to deserving works and authors. Some of the more prestigious awards around the world include the American Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the French Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman, the British Guardian First Book Award, the German Aspekte-Literaturpreis and the Japanese Noma Literary Prize. The New York Times commentator Leslie Jamison described the big, and often very public, "to do" about debut novels and novelists created by these book awards, as associated with the excitement of finding authors and writers without established legacies.In the same piece for the Times, Ayana Mathis describes the debut novel as "a piece of the writer's soul in a way that subsequent books can't ever be", because the novel is necessarily a work of passion and a product of all of their life before that moment.
Often an author's first novel will not be as complex stylistically or thematically as subsequent works and often will not feature the author's typical literary characteristics. Huffington Post 's Dave Astor attributes these to two forces: first that authors are still learning their own unique style and audiences are more willing to read works from unknown authors if they resemble more conventional styles of literature. As examples, Astor points to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937), Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman (1969) and Charles Dickens' The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1837), all of which lack the complexity or stylistic characteristics which audiences praise in the authors' later work. Sometimes, instead of writing novels to begin their career, some authors will start with short stories, which can be easier to publish and allow authors to get started in writing fiction.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary , the earliest attested usage of "first novel" is from 1876. as of 2011 [update] ). The term appears in newspapers as early as 1922, in a review of Marjorie L.C. Pickthall's novel The Bridge. The Google Books Ngram Viewer shows it becoming more widely used after about 1980, gaining in popularity since.However, the term is much older, with instances going back to at least 1800. The Oxford English Dictionary doesn't have an entry for "debut novel". The earliest usage of "debut novel" in the Google Books database is 1930 (
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer or poet. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.
A pen name, also called a nom de plume or a literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their real name.
Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the creation and distribution of printed works, such as books, newspapers, and magazines. With the advent of digital information systems, the scope has expanded to include electronic publishing such as ebooks, academic journals, micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishing, and the like.
A paperback, also known as a softcover or softback, is a type of book characterized by a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover or hardback books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth, plastic, or leather.
A romance novel or romantic novel generally refers to a type of genre fiction novel which places its primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and usually has an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." However, precursors include authors of literary fiction, such as Samuel Richardson, Jane Austen, and Charlotte Brontë.
A small press is a publisher with annual sales below a certain level or below a certain number of titles published. The terms "indie publisher" and "independent press" and others are sometimes used interchangeably.
Drawn & Quarterly is a publishing company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, specializing in comics. It publishes primarily comic books, graphic novels and comic strip collections. The books it publishes are noted for their artistic content, as well as the quality of printing and design. The name of the company is a pun on "drawing", "quarterly", and the practice of hanging, drawing and quartering. Initially it specialized in underground and alternative comics, but has since expanded into classic reprints and translations of foreign works. Drawn & Quarterly was the company's flagship quarterly anthology during the 1990s.
A bestseller is a book or other media noted for its top selling status, with bestseller lists published by newspapers, magazines, and book store chains. Some lists are broken down into classifications and specialties. An author may also be referred to as a bestseller if their work often appears in a list. Well-known bestseller lists in the U.S. are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Most of these lists track book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as sales from major internet retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
George Braziller was an American book publisher and the founder of George Braziller, Inc., a firm known for its literary and artistic books and its publication of foreign authors.
Lorne Albert Pierce was a Canadian publisher, editor, and literary critic.
Myriad Editions is an independent UK publishing house based in Brighton and Hove, specialising in topical atlases, graphic non-fiction and original fiction, whose output also encompasses graphic novels that span a variety of genres, including memoir and life writing, as well political non-fiction. The company was set up in 1993 by Anne Benewick, together with Judith Mackay, as a packager of infographic atlases.
Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. The term usually refers to written media, such as books and magazines, either as an ebook or as a physical copy using POD technology. It may also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, games, video content, artwork, and zines. Web fiction is also a major medium for self-publishing.
The Next Generation Indie Book Awards, also known as the Indie Book Awards, is a literary awards program that recognizes and honors authors and publishers of exceptional independently published books in 70 different categories. "Indies" include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. Established in 2007, it is the largest international awards program for indie authors and independent publishers and is presented by the Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group.
Coffee House Press is a nonprofit independent press based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The press’s goal is to "produce books that celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience." It is widely considered to be among the top five independent presses in the United States and has been called a national treasure. The press publishes literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to have their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is the 2012 debut novel of American author Ayana Mathis. In December 2012, the novel was selected for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie revolves around the matriarch of a black family of the Great Migration and her children and grandchildren.
Zoe Elizabeth Sugg, also known by her YouTube name Zoella, is an English social media personality, entrepreneur and author. Sugg began posting videos to her YouTube channel in 2009, which went on to amass over 10 million subscribers. In 2014, she launched Zoella Beauty, a brand of beauty products that was described as the "biggest beauty launch of the year". Sugg later launched a range of complementary homeware products, and in 2019, it was reported that the two businesses had revenue of £3.8 million per year.
Agate Publishing is an independent small press book publisher based in Evanston, Illinois. The company, incorporated in 2002 with its first book published in 2003, was founded by current president Doug Seibold. At its inception, Agate was synonymous with its Bolden imprint, which published exclusively African-American literature, an interest of Seibold's and a product of his time working as executive editor for the defunct African-American publisher Noble Press.
Girl Online is the debut novel by English author and internet celebrity Zoe Sugg. The romance and drama novel, released on 25 November 2014 through Penguin Books, is aimed at a teen audience and focuses on a fifteen-year-old anonymous blogger and what happens when her blog goes viral. The novel is a New York Times Best Seller in the Young Adult category. The book was the fastest-selling book of 2014 and it broke the record for highest first-week sales for a debut author since records began.
Alex Christofi is a British author and book editor.