In lieu of a book review today, I'm posting information about the 2013 YA Debut Author Reading Challenge, hosted this year by Hobbitsies. Here's her website for more information: 2013 Debut Author Challenge.
For her printable spreadsheet of book release dates, month-by-month, go here. (When you click this, you should see the opportunity to download it at the bottom of your screen, even if it looks like you're still on my page. If this doesn't work, you can always pull the information off of Hobbitsies' site.)
If you want to become involved in it via Goodreads, and to find out how to exchange books, go here: Goodreads discussion groups.
The list is quite intriguing. I'm not aware of the exact number of YA books that are published by traditional presses each year, but my Children's Librarian/book buyer educated guess is somewhere around 700. I do know that, if you compile the deals reported on Publisher's Marketplace, which by my estimates is a record of around half of all book deals made each year, agents are making about one YA book deal each day. But not all deals are recorded--as I said, as a librarian, I noticed that about twice that number are actually released. The unrecorded deals are generally made by long time authors whose agents don't bother to record them in PM.
I am leading to the astonishing fact that Hobbitsies list is comprised of 152 debut authors. By my estimates, that means about one in every four YA books being published in 2013 is by a debut author. !!!
Further, of those 152 debut titles, about HALF are contemporary plus a few historicals. The other half are thriller; paranormal; horror; dystopian; sci fi and fantasy. Yes, the market will still be flooded with dystopian novels, but look at all the contemporaries as well.
I am only now processing this information. I've made a spreadsheet of the contemporary and historical titles, and now plan to research the author's websites and Amazon, to read what the books are about, in order to decide which I want to read. Most will be contemporary or historical. I don't dislike the other categories, and in fact I love dystopian, but reading time is limited, after all.
One is Liz Fichera's Hooked, a contemporary published by Harlequin Teen. Harlequin's made huge inroads into the teen market over the past several years with their very well written Paranormal Romances, particularly those by Julie Kagawa, which are always NYT bestsellers.
If I don't get shot for saying it, and it's only my opinion, I've noticed that the writing quality for Harlequin Teen is much higher than for Harlequin in general. Which bears out, because you need to be agented to knock on Harlequin Teen's doors, whereas you do not, for Harlequin in general.
I've noticed they're beginning to do some contemporaries, and Liz's book is one of them. I requested a copy from NetGalley, and so I'll be reading it soon.
The other book is Miriam Foster's City of a Thousand Dolls. It's a fantasy, not my usual reading fare, but it was written by a young woman who I know slightly. I discovered she regularly attended the Teen Book group at my library, and that she had a book coming out by HarperTeen. Unfortunately, I discovered her only a month or so before she moved to Boise. It was ironic, because when I invited her to speak at our writer's group, she told me she'd been living in Moscow, and had been searching for a writer's group for about a year. Our loss. Her loss.
Anyway, I'm excited to read both of these books for sure, and when I am able, I'll post a list of other 2013 debut authors that I plan to read.
1/5/13 Update: Click here for the list of books I hope to read.