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  • Writer's pictureMallorca Publishing Services

DEBUT BOOKS: A new independent publisher promoting Australian literature and diversity

With plans to build a community and to change the Australian literary market, the independent Melbourne-based publishing house Debut Books has set ambitious goals to encourage and empower diverse stories and to increase the representation of minority and marginalised Australian identities.

After working many years in the book and publishing industry Katherine Larsen decided to take on a new challenge. Only a few months back she founded Debut Books with the hope to support and promote Australian authors and literature and to encourage local writers.

'We want to create a safe space for all voices to be heard and shared, especially for emerging Australian authors. Our books celebrate all kinds of identities and all that makes us human. We want to represent the true diversity of our nation', Katherine explains.

Debut Books just launched their first book series, The Mini Collection, with the first book (Mirror, Mirror by A B Endacott) published only a few weeks ago and the second book (Vitamin A to Z by Fiona Sutherland) coming in early 2021.

You just founded the independent publishing house Debut Books with focus on Australian authors and literature. How is it going?

The adventure so far has been exciting, exhilarating, stressful, and overwhelming. So many feelings and emotions, all at once. I'm almost ready to make offers to fiction writers - it is surreal!

As a new publisher how do you find authors and new voices?

Word of mouth plays a huge part as well as connecting with writers where they are. My main focus right now is 'pulling back the curtain' on the publishing process which in my experience, people outside of publishing don't actually know how a book comes to life. There have been quite a few submissions come through as a result of the behind the scenes posts.

I feel as though writers appreciate the transparency and honesty. The Australian industry is so small and opportunities are few and far between; I feel as though writers who want a future as a published writer should have the opportunity to learn as much as they can about how the industry works in order to give themselves the best chance at success.

With a focus on Australian literature do you see any trends or particular contents Australians are writing about at the moment?

Due to the overwhelming number of imports in our market, many of the trends here are an extension of other markets (predominantly the UK and US ones. I haven't noticed a specific trend right now, other than the continual call for 'own voices' and broader representation.

Katherine Larsen, founder and director of Debut Books.

Please tell us a bit more about your first series you just launched, the mini series.

The Mini Collection can be thought of as an introduction, or conversation starter, for the fiction to come. Each Mini explores a particular topic with the intention of increasing accessibility to the topics we might wish to know more about. Mirror, Mirror examines the power of storytelling in our lives and really sets up the future of Debut Books perfectly!

What can we expect from Debut Books in the near future?

There will be six books in the Mini Collection and I hope to have the first fiction book out in time for Christmas next year! Bring on 2021!

The Mini Collection by Debut Books

Any recommendations for authors when submitting their manuscripts?

My number one tip is to read the submissions information for each individual publisher because they're all different and they're usually looking for or accepting very specific kinds of manuscripts. I have had so many submissions that I've had to decline because they don't fit what I'm looking for - which is very clearly stated on the website!

Also, invest as much as you can in yourself and your manuscript. Publishing is so competitive that anything to enhance your shine (a manuscript assessment, pitching to agents, writing courses) is such a worthy thing to do.

Visit Debut Books on the web:

Discover the Mini Collection here:

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Submissions are currently open (Australian residents only), the details can be found here:

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