Thursday, August 6, 2015

Debut Benefits

Normally we reserve the first Thursday of every month for debut releases. A funny thing happened in the post-Thrillerfest ebb. There are no new releases this month. 

Our team here at The Thrill Begins is busy processing the new applications -- requests to join the Debut Author program are investigated by our membership group -- so I'm sure we'll have lots of striking covers to entice you next month. 

In order to become a member of the Debut Author program, an active ITW Author member must meets the following qualifications:

  • Is their first novel published in any format, anywhere.
  • Is their first work of fiction published by a publisher or press with recognized status. Self-published works released prior to the debut novel preclude membership, as do novellas of any length (whether self-published or traditionally published), since the purpose of the debut program is to aide and support those going through the publication process for the very first time. Short stories released in an anthology or collection may not preclude membership; please mention these at the time that you apply so that they can be reviewed.
  • The novel has or will be published after the most recent ThrillerFest. For instance, the last ThrillerFest was held July 7-11, 2015 and therefore an author who applied for the Debut Authors Program and whose first novel was released before July 7, 2015 was eligible for the Program. Conversely, an author whose book was released before the year’s ThrillerFest (any time before July 7, 2015) but who did not apply to the Debut Program until after July 11, 2015 is not eligible for the Program.
The benefits to the Debut Authors are many--some tangible, some nebulous but perhaps longer lasting. They include:

  • The opportunity to receive media coverage concerning Debut Author events.  examples include a profile and The Big ThrillLibrary Journal, and Suspense Magazineran stories.
  • Membership in the Debut Authors Discussion Forum and Mentor Forum.
Discussion Forum is a private forum where debut authors share experiences, give one another advice, post notices about upcoming events, and build relationships. The Forum also has archived resources, including a Debut Survival Guide, advice on getting blurbs, and much more.

The Mentor Forum features established ITW members who appear in the Forum to answer 
questions. Recent events have included a two-hour Skype session with Lee Child, as well as monthly on-line forums with David Morrell, Douglas Preston, Gayle Lynds, Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, and other bestselling thriller writers.  Read about one of those events here.

  • Social media support, including inclusion on The Big Thrill’s Debut Author page, the opportunity to post on our blog, The Thrill Begins, and social media guidance and advice from Debut members. 
  • A growing network and community, both with writers at just your stage, and with many of the greats in the business, which will provide support, resources, and opportunities at every stage of a career.
For me, working with the Debut Author Program been a wonderful opportunity to interact with so many authors as they prepare for their debut release. While I didn't make it to Thrillerfest--that pesky day job--I've met many of the debut authors at other conferences. The publishing world, especially the mystery/thriller/suspense world, can be a wonderful community. I'm delighted to be part of ITW, especially a program that reaches out to offer new members a hand.   

I hope everyone had a fabulous time at Thrillerfest or wherever your summer has taken you. I look forward to sharing the latest releases next month--on the First Thursday page.

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