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 from established authors with a reputation than from 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 do not 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 do not 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. There are however some debut novels that are regarded as the author's masterpiece, for example Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary , Joseph Heller's Catch 22 , Günter Grass' The Tin Drum and Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart .
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 the term 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 does not have an entry for "debut novel". The earliest usage of "debut novel" in the Google Books database is 1930 (
In legal discourse, an author is the creator of an original work, whether that work is in written, graphic, or recorded medium. Thus, a sculptor, painter, or composer, is an author of their respective sculptures, paintings, or compositions, even though in common parlance, an author is often thought of as the writer of a book, article, play, or other written work. In the case of a work for hire, "the employer or commissioning party is considered the author of the work", even if they did not write or otherwise create the work, but merely instructed another individual to do so.
A pen name 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.
The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. Since October 12, 1931, The New York Times Book Review has published the list weekly. In the 21st century, it has evolved into multiple lists, grouped by genre and format, including fiction and nonfiction, hardcover, paperback and electronic.
A paperback book is one with a thick paper or paperboard cover, and often held together with glue rather than stitches or staples. In contrast, hardcover (hardback) books are bound with cardboard covered with cloth, leather, paper, or plastic.
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Granta is a literary magazine and publisher in the United Kingdom whose mission centres on its "belief in the power and urgency of the story, both in fiction and non-fiction, and the story's supreme ability to describe, illuminate and make real." In 2007, The Observer stated: "In its blend of memoirs and photojournalism, and in its championing of contemporary realist fiction, Granta has its face pressed firmly against the window, determined to witness the world."
James Brendan Patterson is an American author. Among his works are the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women's Murder Club, Maximum Ride, Daniel X, NYPD Red, Witch & Wizard, Private and Middle School series, as well as many stand-alone thrillers, non-fiction, and romance novels. His books have sold more than 425 million copies, and he was the first person to sell 1 million e-books. In 2016, Patterson topped Forbes's list of highest-paid authors for the third consecutive year, with an income of $95 million. His total income over a decade is estimated at $700 million.
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Pushkin Press is a British-based publishing house dedicated to publishing novels, essays, memoirs and children's books. The London-based company was founded in 1997 and is notable for publishing authors such as Stefan Zweig, Marcel Aymé, Antal Szerb, Paul Morand and Yasushi Inoue, as well as award-winning contemporary writers, including Andrés Neuman, Edith Pearlman, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Eka Kurniawan and Ryu Murakami.
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.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is an American publishing house that was founded by Alfred A. Knopf Sr. and Blanche Knopf in 1915. Blanche and Alfred traveled abroad regularly and were known for publishing European, Asian, and Latin American writers in addition to leading American literary trends. It was acquired by Random House in 1960, and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group division of Penguin Random House which is owned by the German conglomerate Bertelsmann.
Lorne Albert Pierce was a Canadian publisher, editor, and literary critic.
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Han Kang is a South Korean writer. She won the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2016 for The Vegetarian, a novel about a woman's descent into mental illness and neglect from her family. The novel is also one of the first of her books to be translated into English.
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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.
Zoë Elizabeth Sugg, also known by her online name Zoella, is an English media personality, entrepreneur and author. She began her career as a YouTuber in 2009 and has since amassed over 10 million subscribers.
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.
Yaa Gyasi is a Ghanaian-American novelist. Her debut novel Homegoing, published in 2016, won her, at the age of 26, the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Award for best first book, the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first book of fiction, the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35" honors for 2016 and the American Book Award. She was awarded a Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature in 2020.