Support First-Time Authors with 51 Debut Novels to Read Now

Posted by Cybil on June 16, 2020


Let's face it, this year's class of first-time authors is seeing its debut novels launch into a world much different from what anyone in the publishing industry could have anticipated. And even as lapsed readers eagerly return to the refuge of books, writers without a built-in fan base from years of bestsellers might not get the attention they deserve.

So, we rounded up 51 sparkling debut novels across fiction genres that have been published since the beginning of 2020. Bonus: They are all available to start reading today. Be sure to add the novels that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf


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Have you discovered a debut author you want to tell your fellow readers about? Please share your recommendations in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
42 New Books to Read this Pride Month
The Top 40 Hit Books of the Year (So Far)
9 Books that Goodreads Editors Highly Recommend

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)


message 1: by Carmel (new)

Carmel Deb Mcewan. Really enjoyed the Unlikely Soldiers series and the afterlife series. She brings humour and leaving you wanting more in everything she writes


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Munday All in Her Head
amazing book . lots of twists and turns from this debut author


message 3: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Boyce Hi, I'm new to all this! I enjoy reading so much. I decided to write my own short novella historical fiction, hopefully the first in the series - "The Antonine Romans and The Golden Torque" which is available as an ebook/paperback, which you can find on Goodreads and Amazon. Best wishes, Andrew Boyce.


message 4: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Collins I recently read The Year of Guinness by Lourdes Carvalho. It's her debut. Although not on this list, she did an amazing job on her her debut publication. I can't wait to read more from her.


message 5: by Mim (new)

Mim Eichmann My debut historical fiction novel "A Sparrow Alone" -- a provocative coming-of-age saga of female empowerment during the historic 1890's Cripple Creek, Colorado gold rush -- is currently a print book Goodreads Giveaway until 6.28.20. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...


message 6: by Gregory (new)

Gregory B I recently read Acheron Falls by DE Lewis and loved it. His debut and was not on this list either. Apparently he is working on a sequel..


message 7: by J.C. (new)

J.C. Hammer Hey all! Not sure if it's okay to bump my own book or not, but I just published a YA sci-fi adventure novel called The Alpine Insurrection . If you need a good heart-pumping summer read about new worlds, deep friendships, and revolutions, check it out! Goodreads, Amazon, Google, Apple, whatever you want. jaredhammer.com/works


message 8: by Lise (new)

Lise Spence-Parsons Hi All,
I just published for the first time! A collection of short stories. A few mysteries, a couple of ghost stories. Some of them will make you question yourself too, maybe make you cry.
It's called "The Shorts" by Lise Spence-Parsons.
Please follow me here
www.lisespence-parsons.com


message 9: by Van (new)

Van Beck Please consider "A Quiet Cadence" by Mark Treanor in your list of first time novels. This novel on Vietnam and a Marine's return to the States is a compelling story with strong character development. I could not put the book down as the characters and story kept me in my chair for a 24-hour read. This book was polished and well-edited by the Naval Institute Press in my view. Five-star novel. Thanks, Van Beck


message 10: by Trana (new)

Trana Mathews My debut novel is The Mathews Family. While it is a family history, this early American historical fiction includes transcripts of actual letters written between family members.

Covering the years 1776 to 1798, the first novel in my saga deals with the Revolutionary War, Shays's Rebellion in central Massachusetts, the beginning settlements of the Northwest Territory north of the Ohio River, and subsequent Indian War. Many of the Mathews family members joined their uncle, Brigadier-General Rufus Putnam, in Ohio. Putnam is known as "The Father of Ohio" and was depicted on a commemorative stamp in 1937.

John Mathews was a surveyor of the Seven Ranges for the Confederated Congress and is one of Ohio's first 48. He was also a surveyor for the Ohio Company of Associates. His sister Susannah and her husband, Captain Jonathan Stone, settled in Belpre. Many settlers lived inside Stone's fort during the Indian War.

It is also a coming-of-age story of young Increase Mathews who was only a young child at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.


message 11: by Marian (new)

Marian L. Hi, I'm the author of a new book I'd love you to consider: The Pelton Papers: A Novel/Mari Coates. It's the story of American painter Agnes Pelton (1881-1961), which has won a bronze in Historical Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and is recommended in The NY Times Book Review Summer Reading issue.
https://shewritespress.com/product/th...
Thank you!


message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan Buxbaum Van wrote: "Please consider "A Quiet Cadence" by Mark Treanor in your list of first time novels. This novel on Vietnam and a Marine's return to the States is a compelling story with strong character developmen..."

rad the Matthews Men.. merchant marines ww2


message 13: by Nightstar (new)

Nightstar I just read the first book in a new series that was really interesting. It's called Mor'dresh, Call of Darkness by Viktor Strangewayes. He's a new author, but he published all 5 books at the same time, which I don't think I've seen before.

I'm actually going to start reading the second book soon, and I'm really interested to see which direction the series goes based on the ending of the first book. If you like dark fantasy with a sense of humor, I'd definitely recommend checking it out!

Mor'dresh, Call of Darkness


message 14: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Kukanza Easley Sweet Jane

My debut was a 2019 Faulkner/Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Finalist. There is a Goodreads Giveaway in June for ten signed copies!


message 15: by Allison (last edited Jun 16, 2020 10:39AM) (new)

Allison Tennant Denver Scott Senescence
I have just finished reading this thought provoking book. I really have learned so much from it and I would highly recommend it to any space addict or anyone, like myself, with this fascinating new interest. It realy did take me on a journey I shall never forget and would like to say thank you to Denver Scott for giving me this glimpse into the future. I do believe the audiobook is due out soon.


message 16: by Brenda Y. Person (new)

Brenda Y. Person Can u promote our book? It is related to current events, black women and white women (Is it me, Is it my hair, is it my skin color? Is it my eyes or is it you?) authors Brenda Y. Person and Jane K. Fieldings.


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan Phoenix People
My debut novel, "Phoenix People", is about a former self-made billionaire who is in prison after losing everything in the 2008-9 financial crisis, and a young graduate student who is doing a PhD dissertation on his case. He tries to persuade her that he is a kind, caring, honest and likeable person who has done nothing wrong. She is suspicious and distrustful. Over several years their relationship evolves into mutual admiration, respect and affection.


message 18: by Saeeda (last edited Jun 16, 2020 11:07AM) (new)

Saeeda Quaisar Keepers of the Faith by Shaukat Ajmeri ( www.shaukatajmeri.com ) is a compelling story of a community under the spell of a spiritual leader and rips apart many lives including of Akbar/Rukhsana. It's a historical literary fiction. I learned a lot from this book and thoroughly enjoyed the love story of these two souls.


message 19: by Shilah (new)

Shilah Ferr My debut novel, April's Heart, came out in January 2020. It is a coming of age romance with all the drama of high school in the eighties, with the Spotify music links to take you there! Who doesn't love a little sex, drugs and rock and roll!
April's Heart


message 20: by Santosh (new)

Santosh My debut 'Black Book for Bachelors' available on Amazon / Kindle. ebook format. Do read :) Thank you.


message 21: by Jafe (last edited Jun 16, 2020 12:41PM) (new)

Jafe Danbury THE OTHER CHEEK
With Jafe Danbury's debut novel, THE OTHER CHEEK, having been recently awarded a Finalist Medal in the BEST FIRST NOVEL category in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, a wider audience should discover this groundbreaking work, which sheds much needed light on the underreported stigma of domestic abuse on a man by a woman. It's both a riveting psychological thriller and a cautionary tale, and reviewers have consistently noted that it's a page-turner they "can't put down!" THE OTHER CHEEK is an unflinching, brutally-honest look at what happens behind closed doors, yet it's not without humor, and is told in a fresh new voice that readers have rewarded with consistent ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. Kirkus Reviews calls THE OTHER CHEEK, "An intense, sometimes-brutal novel about acknowledging and escaping an abusive relationship."
Don't miss this one!
https://www.JafeDanbury.com


message 22: by Jay (new)

Jay Grochowski Kelli's Pine is my debut novel, published in late March. It's a story of fatherhood, a love story, sacrifices made for family, perseverance and redemption, with baseball (and some hoops) weaving in and out of the story line. The reviews on Goodreads and Amazon will tell you what the readers think. You'll laugh, choke up, and root for the characters. My wife has declared she likes the main character, Eddie Blackburn, better than she likes me. The very last 3 words in the book might be the most powerful of all and have you shouting "YES"!.


message 23: by Lilly (new)

Lilly Horigan Paper Treasures

Great List. Thanks!
My debut novel is Christian Fiction.
Girl seeks mom.
Girl meets boy.
Girl finds mom.
Girl discovers joy.


message 24: by Joe (new)

Joe Scott Thrip by J.D. Brayton is a story about the young, sole survivor of the worst mass murder in Georgia history. Now living as the foster child of a fundamentalist Christian couple in Ty-Ty' Ga. He sits at his computer in an isolated farmhouse, interacting with his only true friend, a Homebound Outreach instructor Deidra Brooks, unaware of the forces conspiring to shatter his fragile inner world. Though they never meet face to face, they cultivate a transformative relationship filled with synchronic humor and bizarre stream-of-consciousness fantasies between routine school lessons. Mavyn Justain, who prefers the nickname 'Thirp', is agoraphobic, a social outcast who dreams of discovering a world denied him because of his traumatic past-a past that will return to torment him at the hands of those who seek to profit from his pain. The hack Hollywood producer who wants to expose his trauma-has a secret agenda. The P.I. hired to find the identity of his true parents-drawn into mortal danger. The damaged veteran struggling with P.T.S.D. stock-piling weapons deep in the Georgia woods. The horror of another school-shooting in small town America. A thrilling tale of psychological suspense set in pine woods of the deep south. This book kept me on edge throughout this crazy tale, never knowing what was going to happen next. I loved it and I think you will too. jps


message 25: by Christine (new)

Christine Brushstrokes of Love by Alison Joy:
Easy to read, hard to put down romance novel. Alison uses beautiful imagery to capture the beauty of the Australian bush in the Cape Otway area ( Southern Victoria / Great Ocean Road).


message 26: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Rotkowitz My debut novel, ESCAPING THE WHALE, follows a young New York woman, a guidance counselor specializing in pregnant teens at a large high school in 1980, as she struggles to lead a "normal" life. What lies in her way and beneath her veneer is her legacy of inherited trauma, as her parents are Jewish Holocaust survivors. Struggling to conceal her inner demons as crises mount, she reaches a breaking point and feels she must escape. Will escape bring her relief, or will she have to find another way? This novel deals with a largely overlooked topic -- the children of Holocaust survivors. It speaks to anyone who has inherited a trauma, who has an immigrant family, who recalls or is interested in the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80, and who enjoys an old-fashioned coming-of-age story. More at: www.getbook.at/whale


message 27: by Sasindran (new)

Sasindran Rasaathi the other side of a Transgender, a debut book is one of the best debut novel.


message 28: by Amber (last edited Jun 18, 2020 01:15PM) (new)

Amber The Kingdom of Liars is pretty good and it's the authors debut novel. I think it comes out in August though. Great fantasy debut though


message 29: by ClaraBelle (new)

ClaraBelle The Jane Austen Society, If I Had Your Face, and The Return look good to me


message 30: by Hazel Bee (new)

Hazel Bee I already have 10 of these on my TBR, might as well put them all.


message 31: by Claire (new)

Claire I agree! Followers by Megan Angelo is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far. I would be amazed if it isn’t picked up for tv, huge Black Mirror vibes. I loved every second of it.
Followers


message 32: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Cushing Temper, Temper by Raymond Cushing Raymond Cushing

This is my first novel. It was published in April, 2020.

Sammy Hayes should wear a sign - 'Dangerous When Pushed'

When Haywire Sammy Hayes comes home to Halifax after losing his boxing title as the World Heavyweight Champion his troubles are just beginning. Ladders and black cats are everywhere. His best friend, the most dangerous cabdriver in the world, had always told him to make sure they couldn’t find the bodies. Good advice not taken.


message 33: by Claire (new)

Claire Oh! If we can add first novels by new authors too, can I add The Loop by Ben Oliver. Another Black Mirror style tale (I know my other recommendation from your own list was described the same, but I have a genre I like, okay!)

The Loop


message 34: by Susan (last edited Jun 18, 2020 12:02PM) (new)

Susan Thank you for showcasing lesser known (but not lesser quality) novels!

I have read and highly recommend from the list: Valentine Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore and Real Life Real Life by Brandon Taylor .

Looking forward to reading: How Much of These Hills Is Gold How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang , Sharks in the Time of Saviors Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn and A Burning A Burning by Megha Majumdar !


message 35: by Katsuro (new)

Katsuro Goodreads really needs to remove all the spammy self-promotion here in the comments.


message 36: by ClaraBelle (new)

ClaraBelle Katsuro wrote: "Goodreads really needs to remove all the spammy self-promotion here in the comments."

Agree and disagree with you at the same time


message 37: by Kaela (last edited Jun 18, 2020 02:06PM) (new)

Kaela Once And Future Wife
I'd like to see this one on the list. But I don't remember if it's out now or next month (I read an ARC)


message 38: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Katsuro wrote: "Goodreads really needs to remove all the spammy self-promotion here in the comments."

Thanks. I was going to post that myself.


message 39: by Lissa (new)

Lissa I just finished a burning today. It blew me away! I couldn’t put it down.


message 40: by TMR (new)

TMR Love this collection.


message 41: by Simon (new)

Simon Andrewes 1969. A Year in a Life, by Simon Andrewes (Yes, sure enough. That's me. It's my debut novel.) A memoir-based novella. The story of one unremarkable life in one remarkable year. (They say if you remember the 60s, you didn't truly experience them! But I had a diary!) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...


message 42: by Cricket (new)

Cricket Muse Children’s debut books are not listed here, yet they have much to offer. Consider Someday We Will, which is a picture book about the anticipation of being together again. Very timely message of hope.


message 43: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Cushing I agree about the kid's books, Cricket.
Here's one about kids growing up in the Australian Outback.
Not Far to Go Now
Written by Jet Jones. Great illustrations by Katie Jones.


message 44: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Hutchinson Hagwitch and the Cauldron of Colour

My new book, Hagwitch and the Cauldron of Colour is being released tomorrow, please consider as a recommendation. It’s a children’s picture book told in verse, and I'm already receiving the most fabulous feedback. Thank you!


message 45: by Lynda Ashby Ludy (new)

Lynda Ashby Ludy Good list. Please also consider The Third Medallion by Perry J. Ludy. Learn more at www.perryludy.com


message 46: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Sophie wrote: "Katsuro wrote: "Goodreads really needs to remove all the spammy self-promotion here in the comments."

Thanks. I was going to post that myself."


Don't just POST your dismay, FLAG it, for goodness sakes!!! That's the only way to get these self-promo comments taken down.


message 47: by Bridget (new)

Bridget Portmann I'm being brazen and adding my debut book to this list because I think it is a book for the times. I say that because it is a book about self discovery - finding your own inner strength. In a time when large social gatherings are dangerous, this is a book about getting outdoors, pushing your limits and finding happiness. If you're looking for a book that's going to encourage you to get off your couch and head into nature, this is for you.
Northbound: Tales from the Continental Divide Trail


message 48: by Rijuta (new)

Rijuta Gupta I too am a first time author. My debut novel, Love Alive is published on 23rd September (kindle version worldwide) and on 1st October (paperback edition only in India). I too need your support. Warm wishes to all


message 49: by CORNELIUS (new)

CORNELIUS  BLACKSTONE The tales of a phoenix odyssey to the underverse


message 50: by Joyce (new)


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