> Skip to content

Article  •  17 May 2023


10 reasons why everyone should support debut authors

Find out why it’s so important to support authors upon the publication of their first book and meet a few of our 2023 debut authors.

If you’re an avid reader you’ve likely heard the buzz around debut authors. But what’s all the excitement about?

Debut authors, a term used to describe authors who are publishing for the first time, not only deserve reader excitement for simply bringing new books into the world, but they also add variety and new perspectives to the market.

However, breaking into any industry can be tough, and as a reader, you play a big part.

Read on to find out why you should support debut authors, plus a few tips on how to do it.

Why support debut authors

Let’s dive into the ways that supporting debut authors allows you to . . .

  1. Support local authors
  2. Find a new favourite
  3. Read outside of your comfort zone
  4. Foster literary talent in Australia
  5. Help kickstart someone’s career
  6. Get a new perspective
  7. Follow the journey
  8. Be able to say ‘I read them before they were huge’
  9. Engage with the writing community
  10. Be inspired to write your own book

1. Support local authors

Local debut author Kate Scott at an event with fans. She is standing in the middle, and there is one fan on either side of her holding a book.
Local debut author Kate Scott at an event with fans. Image credit: @beach_witch

Backing up debut authors is a great opportunity to support local authors.

Breaking into the book market is a huge challenge for anyone, but even more so for debut authors. Because they don’t have the same recognition that bestselling authors have already established, it’s extremely tough for debut authors to break onto the bestseller charts, which are often dominated by internationally renowned names.

2. Find a new favourite

There are so many fantastic debuts by fresh voices every year. 

Your new favourite book might come from an author you’ve never heard of, so you might as well read as many debut authors as you can! 

3. Read outside your comfort zone

Debut author Fran Littlewood at a bookstore with her novel. Two people stand next to her and one is holding a fan, with her book's cover printed on it.
Debut author Fran Littlewood at a bookstore with her novel. Image credit: @_franlittlewood

If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a reading rut, you might need to change up the types of books that you’re reading.

It’s too easy to reach for the same genres and same authors time and time again, so trying out a debut novel is a great way to break that habit. Who knows, you might just find a new favourite!

4. Foster literary talent in Australia

Supporting debut authors is a great way to foster literary talent in Australia.

Purchasing a debut novel not only shows the author that their community cares about their book, but it also shows other aspiring authors how much Australians appreciate the work of local writers. Hopefully, this will continue to inspire new great authors from every stretch of our country.

5. Help kickstart someone’s career

One exciting component of supporting a debut author is that it allows you to play a role in kickstarting someone’s career. While you might not think that your support means much in the grand scheme of things, you’d be surprised by the huge impact that word-of-mouth can have.

Reading and sharing your love for debuts is a great way to get friends and family interested in new authors you love, and before you know it, you might see them on the bestsellers list.

6. Get a new perspective 

Reading debut authors provides a new perspective. Because these authors are just entering the scene, their work is yet uninfluenced by many of the factors at work on already-established authors.

Debut authors have no brand image to live up to and are free from reader expectations, giving them a huge opportunity to provide something that’s never been done before.

If you want to read (and think) in a new way, a debut novel is always a great option!

7. Follow the journey

Six women sitting on a long couch, and one of them is Emma Grey's daughter. They are all holding the book 'The Last Love Note'.
Debut author Emma Grey's daughter visiting her US publisher in NYC. Image credit: @emmagreyauthor

Being a fan of someone from the beginning of their literary career will allow you a unique insight into their writing for years to come, and there’s no better feeling than watching someone step into their full potential.

8. Be able to say ‘I read them before they were huge’

Nobody likes to admit it, but who doesn’t want to be a trendsetter?

Reading debut authors is a fantastic way to spot the ‘next big thing‘ before everyone else catches on. Even if you don’t outwardly admit it, we’re sure that you’ll gain a sense of satisfaction in being an early reader.

9. Engage with the writing community

Once you start supporting debut authors, you’ll likely realise how much they support each other. Because this is the start of their literary career, debut authors often have a greater capacity to engage with their fans and peers. Whether it’s in the comments section on social media or at an event, you might find that debut authors are excited to engage with their readers and other writers.

10 . Be inspired to write your own book

If you too are a writer, supporting debuts can inspire you to write your own book. It’s incredible to watch someone transition from ‘I write for fun’ to ‘I’m a professional author’ – and it can be a great way to witness that it really is possible to make your dreams a reality.


How to support debut authors

  1. Buy their book: The best way to support debut authors is to buy their books. If you don’t know where their books are sold, a quick Google usually helps.
  2. Follow them on social media (and engage): If you’ve already bought their book or want to show your support in another way, following authors on social media is a great way to help build their profile. Even better, engaging with them on social media (by liking, commenting, and sharing) shows your love and helps others find them.
  3. Add their books to your Goodreads lists: If you have a Goodreads profile, adding debut novels to your lists can help other people find books. When you add a debut novel to your ‘Read’ shelf, it will come up on your friends' feeds, inspiring them to check it out too.
  4. Write reviews about the books: Take things one step further by also writing reviews for debut novels that you love. Whether this is on Goodreads, Instagram or a blog, reviews can encourage other readers to pick up a debut novel.
  5. Share their books with your friends: Finally, you can always introduce friends to your favourite debut novels by giving them the book.If you've recently read and loved a book by a debut author, passing it along to a friend is a great way to practice sustainability.


Books by 2023 debut authors

These are just a few of the amazing debut novels that have already come out this year. Check them out and add them to your TBR to start supporting debut authors today.

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder Kerryn Mayne

'A contagious blend of lighthearted moments and dark action, it’s hard to believe this is a debut. My feeling is that writer Kerryn Mayne is just at the start of a long career.' – The Weekend Australian

Buy now

A Man and His Pride Luke Rutledge

'Reading A Man and his Pride is the literary equivalent of spending a night in a club, dancing all your blues away, and waking the next morning with a smile on your face and a stranger in your bed. Funny, moving, and with energy to burn, Luke Rutledge’s debut is an absolute joy.' – John Boyne

Buy now

Girl in a Pink Dress Kylie Needham

'This short novel is a small miracle. Profound and sometimes perfect, a mere review is an injustice.' – Helen Elliot for Spectrum

Buy now

The Matchmaker Saman Shad

'The 'desi' (South Asian) culture of matchmaking makes for a sweet and spicy subject in this debut novel of 'Parramatta meets Pakistan'. Matchmaker, Saima, is paid by Kal's parents to secretly set him up with chance encounters in Sydney. When Saima mistakes Kal's car for her Uber, a little bit of stardust has been sprinkled.' – Australian Women's Weekly 

Buy now

Go as a River Shelley Read

'Shelley Read's lyrical voice is a force of nature and when she lends it to a woman leading a hardscrabble life in rural Colorado, the result is tragic, uplifting and completely unforgettable.' – Bonnie Garmus

Buy now

Pineapple Street Jenny Jackson

'Smart and clever, minutely observed and packed with one-liners, Pineapple Street is a more complicated read than it looks.' – The Guardian 

Buy now

More features

See all
Penguin Noir is back with two events in 2024

Learn about two exciting Penguin Random House author showcases this August!

The best books to read with your book club in autumn 2024

These are the Penguin Random House books that over 80,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads this month.

Debut authors share their best tips for aspiring authors

The Fresh Voices of 2023 share their advice with fellow writers. Whether you’re aspiring to get your book published or looking for writing tips, these words of wisdom will help.

The books everyone is talking about in 2023

See the books that readers are obsessing over lately.

Discover the new releases that book critics are loving this autumn

See what reviewers are saying about books published in April and May 2023.

What book to gift Mum this Mother’s Day, based on her favourite flower

Find the perfect book based on the blooms she already loves.

The 2023 debut novel reviewers are raving about

Learn about ‘Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder’ and check out rave reviews from readers.

The mysterious process of writing 'Go as a River'

Find out how Shelley Read wrote 'Go as a River', what the publishing process was like, and what she hopes readers will take away from the book.

Some of the most anticipated books of 2024

From authors including Rachael Johns, Amor Towles, Leigh Bardugo and so many others!

Catch these authors at Australia’s biggest writers festivals this May

Find out which Penguin Random House authors will be attending writers festivals in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney this May.

Add these 2023 books to your TBR list for a year of great reading

Check out the most anticipated books of 2023.

Get ready, these 6 amazing debut novels come out in January 2023

Learn about the best debut novels of January 2023.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles