Why we should read a debut author’s novel
Why don’t we try books from new authors? I ask. I’m as guilty as the rest and do it far too infrequently.
What puts you off?
Firstly, they are poorly written.
Of course some are. I have seen incorrect grammar, mixed tenses within sentences, spelling mistakes, and poor sentence structure in many debut novels, but this also applies to many well-established authors too. I am not going to give examples, but there are times when I have been horrified by the poor quality, and wonder why they have been published. Maybe we just notice it more with debut’s.
Secondly, the plot is feeble, or the characters are not well drawn.
Again this can be true, and again it applies to all books. There is so much out there that reading is a matter of taste. What is brilliant to one person, is dreary to another. I don’t believe debut novelists are necessarily any worse. If fact I think the opposite can often be the case. Many new writers write in a very appealing modern style, often in one point of view making it more readable, whereas some established writers chose to write in several points of view. Take a look at the classics. Many of them are a chore to read.
I also think there is another important factor that stops us from buying debut novels, and it is a psychological one. The word of an established publisher has clout. If they shout out this book is good, we believe it and buy it. Who is going to believe any old Joe in a remote village?
As human beings we don’t like to be seen to be different. If we read a book that has a average rating of 4.5 stars, based on a few hundred reads, we are looking for the positive. Likewise, if a book has no rating, or a low rating, we look at it with the assumption it is poor.
But really, what is there to lose when the books are often priced cheaper than a coffee or a half-pint of beer?
So lets all do things a bit differently. Wouldn’t it feel great if we were one of the first to read a book that turns into a massive hit?