Debut Author Challenge

Here you will find all the information you need to know about the 2018 Debut Author Challenge. I am always accepting participants (scroll down to sign up!) and debut authors who would like to be featured in the monthly “Debut Dish” feature.

If you have any questions, please email me at debutauthorc {at} gmail {dot} com. Use the hashtag #DebutAuthorChallenge so we can all keep up with each other!




Challenge Objectives:

  • To introduce readers to this year’s wonderful group of debut authors.
  • To challenge readers to read 12 or more (or less! It’s up to you!) middle grade, young adult, and new adult debuts this year.

Challenge Rules:

  • You must post your thoughts on each debut book you read in order for it to count towards the challenge. You can post anywhere: your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. If you can link it up, it counts!
  • You can join the challenge whenever you want.
  • The debuts must have a publishing date in 2018 and must have been read between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 (this extra month allows readers adequate time to read December debuts) in order to count.
  • Each review gives you an entry into the bi-annual debut book drawings. Make sure you post the links to my bi-annual link-ups. The first one was posted on January 1, 2018 and the second one will be posted on July 1, 2018. (Due to lack of author interest, the swag packs will not happen this year.)
  • This challenge is open internationally, as are the bi-annual drawings (provided Book Depository ships to you).
  • I don’t care what language you write your reviews in, I just need to know which book you have reviewed so I can verify your entry. When you post your link in the Linky, please include the title in English.
  • Use the hashtag #DebutAuthorChallenge so we can all see what everyone’s up to!

Which Books Count:

  • The book must be classified as middle grade, young adult, new adult fiction.
  • The book must be a full-length novel and not a novella.
  • The book must be the author’s MG/YA/NA 2018 debut. (If the author has published adult fiction before, but this is their first MG/YA/NA book EVER it still counts. If the author has published a YA book before and this is their first MG or NA book, it does not count. We are reading the author’s first book for young people, excluding picture books.)
  • Full length novels that have been co-written by a debut author and a non-debut author count. Anthologies do not.
  • Self-published books do not count, so if the author has self-published a MG/YA/NA book before and this is their first book published by a traditional publisher it counts toward the challenge.
  • ARCs are fine, but only if you read them the year they are published. (If you read a 2018 debut in 2017, it does not count. If you read a 2019 debut in 2018, it does not count. This way, participants who do not have access to ARCs are not at a disadvantage.)
  • Since this challenge is international, some books will be debuts in some countries and not in others. This can be tricky and put some books into a gray area, so here’s what we will do. If the book came out this year in your country for the first time, even though it was available elsewhere, then you can count it. I’m going to trust you, so please be honest.
  • Please feel free to tweet, email, etc. me if you do not know if a book counts or not. I am happy to help you.

Helpful Links:


Challenge Button:

That Artsy Reader Girl


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

50 responses to “Debut Author Challenge

  1. Hi,

    At TheStorySiren there was a rule that the review had to be in English to Count – is this still the case? I have a Danish blog, and review in Danish, but I would love to sign up for this challenge if the rules about reviews having to be in English have changed… =)

    • Jana

      Hi Michelle!

      When you link up your reviews each month, if you could just make sure the link says the book’s title in English that would enable me to verify your entry. I don’t mind if the review is in Danish, just as long as I know which debut book it is! But yes, I’d love to have you!

  2. Hi!

    I’m so excited for this challenge, it’s my first one! Just so I’m absolutely clear, we do our reviews from debut authors starting in January, right? Do we have to connect it with your blog somehow?

    • Jana

      Hi Barbara!

      Yay! I’m so glad you’ve joined up! It’s a really fun challenge because I host giveaways multiple times each month, in addition to the prize packs I give away every month as well.

      Yes, start reading the 2015 debuts in January. They do not count if you read them now because I don’t want to put those who do not have access to ARCs at a disadvantage. Only 2015 debuts will count. For more DAC rules, click this link: (I’m hoping I’ve explained everything well enough here, but please ask as many questions as you need to!)

      Each time you post a review, be sure to link it to my monthly link-up because that counts as an entry for the prize pack giveaways. I post these link-ups on the first day of each month, without fail. There is also a link to the current month’s link-up in the DAC tab at the top of my blog for quick access. :)

      SO excited to have you!

        • Jana

          You don’t re-link all of your reviews each month, just new ones you write that month. For example, I posted December’s link-up a couple days ago. Participants will continue to come back to that link-up all month to link each debut book review they post throughout all of December (you can review as many or as few debuts as you want each month). Reviews written in November were linked up to the November link-up, and so on. You only link each of your reviews one time to the corresponding monthly link-up. Does that make sense? :)

  3. Hi Again Jana,
    I am SO excited to be part of this challenge next year (YAY!!!), and I was wondering if you will be making a list of 2015 debut author books – and if so where it can be found and when?

  4. Hi!
    If I sign up with my blog, does that mean all of the reviews have to be posted there. Or may I alternate between posting my reviews on goodreads and my blog?
    Thanks you
    Looking forward to this challenge!

    • Jana


      I don’t mind if you alternate between your blog and Goodreads. :) Glad to have you on board for the challenge!

  5. I am so excited for this!! I’ve done others in the past but never got that far! Hoping for better results this year!! Thanks for setting this up!! :)

    • Jana

      I’m so glad to hear you’re excited! I think it’s going to be very fun this year. :) Good luck! I hope you find lots of books you love this year. :)

    • Jana

      Hi Michelle! Yes, Seeker can count towards the challenge. It looks like the only other book this author has published is an adult fiction title. Good find! I’ll make sure the book is on the spreadsheet of debut books. :)

  6. Dee

    So, my wordpress app has been misbehaving and haven’t been able to review anything in weeks but I’m excited about this challenge.
    Hopefully you won’t mind (as in it will still count) if I just review on Goodreads sometimes :)

  7. Hi Jana,

    I have a question to the last point: We are going off of the book’s original release date, and not its re-release date.

    I’m a German book blogger and read most of my books in German. Are German translations from an English book always re-releases? So when a book came out 2015 in Germany, but 2014 in the US, it doesn’t count for the challenge?

    • Jana

      Hi Stephie!

      Wow. That is such a good question, and something I had never even thought of. So thank you. :) I suppose that since this is an International challenge, it would not be fair to limit your pool of books so much by excluding books that are new to you but not to the USA. How about I amend the rule and allow books that are available to you for the first time? Whether it’s being released in your country or your language, if it’s the first time it is accessible to you then it counts? If it came out this year in your country, even though it was available elsewhere then I’ll go ahead and let that count. Does that make sense and sound fair to you?

      • Hi Jana,

        thank you very much, that sounds perfect! Unfortunately, we have to wait very long for certain translations while some other books are published in the US and Germany nearly at the same time.

        At the end of my reviews you can always find a Link to the book an Amazon, where you can finde the publication date in the product informations. I hope that makes it easier for you to see if the book was published in 2015.

        • Jana

          Stephie, that sounds perfect! And I totally now what you mean. Sometimes I have to wait a while for UK or Australia books to be published here as well. And it costs SO much to import them, ask a friend to buy and ship, or find used copies online. I wish everything could be published internationally at the same time! Would be wonderful. :)

          Thanks for giving me that little bit of extra info to verify your book choices. :) That will help a lot!

          • Oh, that’s a big difference to Germany than. We can order English books (UK or US) at Book Depository or Amazon with free delivery and the books are mostly much cheaper than the German editions. I have to pay 10-15 Euro for an English hardback, but 17-20 or even more for a German one. But you’re right, would be great if all books could be published internationally at the same time ;)

    • Jana

      Hi Marcilia! (Pretty name!)

      Thanks so much for following, and for signing up! I hope you have fun this year, and find lots of new books you love. :)

  8. Caitlin Vanasse (@CaitlinVanasse)

    Hi Jana, thanks so much for running this side of things this year. I was wondering if you’ll be doing anything with the official Goodreads group.

    Also, is there an official way we can suggest books for your spreadsheet? I know that Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers ( and is a YA debut contemporary that recently had it’s September 1st release date announced and All That Remains by Sarah Ahiers ( is a debut without a specific release day/month yet.

    My friends and I have enjoyed challenging ourselves to read more debuts through this challenge, although none of us have participated much in the contest/blog side of things to date. It’s good to see you’re keeping this alive and well.

    • Jana

      Hi Caitlin!

      I’d love to do something with the group, but I’m not a moderator or anyone special there. I can write to Kristi and see if there’s a way for her to give me the group, or I can make a new one. If I made a new group would that be alright, or is it important that we use the existing one?

      As for books that need to be added to the spreadsheet, I have made a form you can fill out to request that it be added. It’s right here ( I check it every day, so things get added quickly. I really appreciate the help with this. It’s hard to keep track of all the books!

      Thanks so much for writing and asking these questions! I’ll make sure I figure out a way to keep the Goodreads side going.

  9. jen7waters

    Hey, Jana!
    Quick and kinda silly question: it doesn’t matter if I read and review a book that came out, for example, in january, in february or may or whatever month, right? what matters is that the book is a 2015 debut, yes?

    • Jana

      Yep! All that matters is that the book is a 2015 release. You can read any of them at any point throughout the year. :)

    • Jana

      Hi Mandy!

      I’m so glad you like the idea! To join, all you do is post a link to your blog in the linky above. :) I’m so happy to have you!

  10. I never participate in a challenge like this, so I think this is gonna be awesome. I love to read and last year I read a lot of new authors (but not their debuts). I hope to read even more this year.

  11. I’ve been wanting to join this challenge for the last few years but never was able to get around to it! I’m determined this year!

  12. Thanks for үour personal marvelous posting! I tгuly enjoyed reading іt, yoᥙ can be a great author.
    ӏ will mаke sure tօo bookmark youyr blog aand maу come back in thе
    future. I want tօ enccourage thɑt уоu continue ʏour ɡreat posts, ɦave ɑ
    nice daү!

  13. Hey Jana, I just noticed you hashtag says 2017!

    Also, not sure if this has been addressed, but if a book’s coauthored and it’s one of the author’s debut, does it count?

  14. I see you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn additional cash every month.
    You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve
    all websites), for more info simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize
    your website