Monday, October 26, 2009

The Debut Masses

I thought, back in January when I started Number One Novels, a blog to showcase debut authors, that I might be running a little lean on new people by this time of year. I know, intellectually, that a lot of novels are published every year, but I have never seen it, and with large-number things, I need to see it to understand it. (Four hundred people and a thousand look a lot the same in my head—they look a lot different when I'm crowded into a stadium with them.)

I know, from agents and authors pointing it out, that novels typically stay on the bookshelves at your nearby bookstore for a whopping 6 or so weeks. With that kind of turnaround, there's bound to be a lot of new material coming in.

I also know, as a nation and as an individual, how story-hungry we all are. Case in point, I'm already reading my 64th book this year (and that doesn't count those I started and couldn't get into).

It stands to reason that a lot of the authors filling the store bookshelves are new to the scene. But seeing the number of them as I have in my debut author hunts helped me make the leap from intellectually understanding the influx of debut authors and actually believing the numbers.

And these are just the published authors. With the number of queries agents and editors reject, I feel that every person I meet should have a novel or two lurking in the confines of their desk. Maybe I'm helping skew the numbers, since I have three lounging about, waiting for me to polish them.

Fortunately for me, editors and publishers are still buying up debut works like crazy, and fortunately for the NON blog, there's no end in sight of debut authors.

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