The thrill of finding a brand new voice in fiction is, for many of us, the real pinnacle of reading pleasure. It certainly is for us. We are captivated by that singular excitement that comes from meeting a new writer through their work, and there’s just nothing like opening a book by an author you don’t know – the promise, the rush of new turns of phrase, of new styles and perspectives and thoughts. It’s something we strive to share with all readers. It’s always worth taking a chance on something new. We are conscious, however, that you are spending hard-earned money to take that chance, so we came up with a way for you to experience the thrill of the new within an environment you can trust.

About a year and a half ago, we started a new promotion designed to share with you all our great passion for new writers. We called this promotion Debut of the Month, and through it we’ve been highlighting the most exciting new voices in fiction. The response to our recommended debuts has been incredible thus far and we’re really looking forward to another year of literary discoveries and sensational first novels. Just so you know, here are just a few of the most incredible books to have been part of this promotion (you’ll probably have heard of some of them!)

● The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
● The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
● My Name is Yip by Paddy Crewe
● The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas

These books have gone on to become bestsellers and critical darlings, and their authors have become ones to watch. Excellent company, we are sure you will agree.

Hopefully, many of you are already familiar with our Debut of the Month recommendations, which come out monthly, but if you aren’t, and since we’re about to embark on a whole new year of them, we thought it’d be a good idea to give you a quick rundown on what it is, how we do it and why we do it.

What It Is

Our Debut of the Month promotion is our way of giving worthy attention to the kind of novel that might otherwise go under the radar. That is, a novel by an as yet unheard of new author. And that is what we mean by “debut”: the first novel by an author who has not published one before – the very first work of fiction by a newly emerging writer. It’s a series of very carefully chosen recommendations, one for each month, aimed at introducing you to something, and someone, new. These recommendations, you should know, are read and voted for by a core group of avid readers within the Bargain Books team. The chosen book also hits our shelves at a significant discount, of course.

How We Do It

Well, it’s a bit of a process… because we don’t take our book choices lightly, and we don’t expect you to either. How it works goes something like this: Each month, our main publishers submit their choice for the most exciting upcoming debut. These are people in the know, so these picks are always enticing. These picks, there are usually four of them, are then shared with our top team of Bargain Books staff readers (these are also people in the know, you know, proper book people) who then read them, digest them, and secretly vote on which of the four should be promoted. That book, the winner, is then generously stocked throughout all of our stores and sold to you at one of our signature Was/Now prices. We also compose and share a brief writeup on the book so that you know what kind of treat you are in for.

It’s a process driven by our avid love of books and our ceaseless desire to share the best out there with our customers. When you pick up our Debut of the Month, you can rest assured that it deserves your attention… not because advertising execs have decreed it thus, but because the very booksellers you meet on your visits to our stores think that the book is so good it needs sharing.

Why We Do It

Well, at the risk of repeating ourselves, and of gushing even more effusively, we love debut novels and we think that they matter. Every writer begins their career with a single book. Even those enormous names that absolutely everyone knows – each of them once released their debut. That very first book offers us the chance to sense what drove that writer to write in the first place – and to experience their work in its purest form, before the name overshadows the writing.

For us to be able to play a part in bringing new novelists to the fore, to give new voices and imaginations a much needed leg-up, and to lovingly involve you in this process, well, that’s really what we’re here for. And we hope that you take as much pleasure in it as we do. We hope too, as humbly as we might, that our debut recommendations this year will be some of the best books you read. We will certainly be giving it our best!

So, to round all of this off, we invite you to continue to share in our love of new offerings and to give a boost to those writers reaching the shelves for the very first time. So keep an eye out for our Debuts of the Month this new year: the promotion, no doubt, will be as successful and as fulfilling in 2023 as it has up to this point.

… And come and talk to us about your favourite debuts… you might just meet a fellow fan.