Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 28, 2017

Debut Mondays – at ANZ LitLovers

I don’t know why the Wheeler Centre stopped running Debut Mondays: it was a terrific series and I have a number of books on my TBR that derive from those wonderful early days when the  Wheeler Centre was more about books than ‘ideas’.

As soon as our staff meeting finished on Mondays, I could barrel down the Monash freeway, find a parking spot at the QV centre and head into ‘The Moat’ where there were light suppers and nibbles and four enthusiastic debut authors whose task it was to spruik their new novels in ten or fifteen minutes.  And even if I couldn’t get there in person, I heard about these authors because the event was advertised…

Some of those debut and emerging  authors reviewed on this blog or whose books are in my TBR because of Debut Mondays include Meg Merrilees, Eleanor Limprecht, Kirsten Krauth, Jane Rawson, Graeme Simsion, Jessie Cole, Amy Espeseth, Courtney Collins and Amy Choi; Romy Ash, Robert Power, Tony Birch, Melanie Joosten, Favel Parrett, Anna Krien, Lisa Lang, Catherine Harris, Lisa Reece-Lane, Roger Averill and Jon Bauer.

The advantage of Debut Mondays for those authors was that unlike the usual book launch it didn’t cost anything.  We who were attending bought our own suppers and nibbles.  All they had to do was turn up with some copies of the book – and persuade us to buy them.

The demise of this valuable series is on my mind because of a startling spike in my blog stats for a debut novel I recently reviewed: after a little searching I discovered that Kill Your Darlings has been running a First Book Club…

Established in 2014, the KYD First Book Club partners with local publishers to each month promote a new release debut book of fiction or non-fiction that KYD is gunning for everyone to read!

Through a series of events, online content, podcast coverage and profiles, the KYD First Book Club encourages wide-ranging and long-lasting conversations about these authors and their books both on and off the screen.

October’s book is Bridget Crack, the first novel of Rachel Leary, which I just happen to be reading, and the novel that had such an extraordinary impact on my stats was The Pacific Room by Michael Fitzgerald (which I reviewed here).  And that level of interest in a debut novel got me thinking…

What if I ran a series called Debut Mondays for Australian authors of literary fiction, which offered three or four debut authors 300-odd words to spruik their new books here on the ANZ LitLovers blog?  Depending on interest it could run weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and it could offer a wide Australian and international audience for the debut novel.

Authors of new or forthcoming books can contact me with an expression of interest in the contact form below.  Make sure that you check out my review policy first so that the books being spruiked appeal to the audience of this blog!

#Update: The next day: I’ve had an email from Emily Harms at the Wheeler Centre to say that they still run these ‘Debut Mondays’, renamed as The Next Big Thing.  But it’s not the same because (why??) they focus on a different genre each month, today’s one being a *sigh* Halloween edition.  I don’t want to be discouraging but one event is named Literary Fiction, which siloes those authors into a category that doesn’t appeal to everyone – while at the same time in their ‘past events’ I can see names that I recognise in events for other genres whose marketing didn’t appeal to me at all – and those authors have written books that I thought were great examples of literary fiction.

I’m sure most Melbourne readers subscribe to the Wheeler Centre and can access these events if they want to, but I still think ANZ LitLovers can be a place for publicising debut authors – beyond postcode 3000.

 


Responses

  1. Great idea! I’ve read some excellent debut novels because someone blogged about them.

    • Well, it will be like Meet an Aussie Author – depends on authors being willing to participate!

  2. I love the idea of that Debut Mondays event – for small indie publishers this gives them a really cost effective way to reach an audience. Also like your idea of doing a version of this via the blog. Bet you’ll have no shortage of takers

    • Let’s hope so!

  3. Great idea. I’ll be watching.

  4. Sounds like a great idea, as many of the books we publish are by first-time authors. We’ll make them aware of your review policies and preferences.

    • Thanks, Anna, I’ve had some beaut debut novels from you:)

  5. Great idea! I’ll look forward to the ppsts, but not to the impact on my already out of control to be read pile

    • Posts!

    • Yes, I’m hoping to be a bad influence on that:)

  6. Another wonderful initiative from you Lisa. Well done.

    • Sssh, don’t tell, I’ve got a response from one debut author already!

  7. I’m not surprised!

  8. Sounds like a great idea Lisa. It will be fun to see who appears.


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