Giving Debut Authors a Place to Start

Today we feature a guest post by Sweet Sixteen member Parker Peevyhouse, who has created a terrific resource for other debut authors. 

I’ve learned a lot of things since my debut YA novel, Where Futures End, came out in February of this year. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you matter how much research you try to do before your first book gets published, there are going to be gaps in your understanding of how publishing works. I haven’t been afraid to ask questions as I’ve gone through this process, but what I have discovered is that I didn’t always know which questions I should be asking! And those unasked, unanswered questions led to a lot of… unpleasant… surprises.

Look, I’m really into reading up on stuff. But when you sign a publishing contract, no one hands you a manual. So, in the interest of helping the next class(es) of debut writers, I’ve decide to create not a manual (because I still have not acquired enough info for that) but an index.

So many great blogs and tweets and forums will give you information about what to expect during your debut year, and how to handle what’s about to come your way. But it’s hard to scour the web for that scattered info. So, debut authors, I want to give you a starting place: The Index for Debut Authors. This site lists what I feel is the most pertinent information for publishing your first MG or YA novel. I tried to make it very easy to navigate so that you can get some solid basics and figure out what more you need to research before your publication date.

I’m going to admit that my knowledge of debuting is limited to what I’ve experienced, what I’ve read online, and what I’ve heard from other debut authors, so I would love your help with this project. If you see anything inaccurate on the site, or if you have a helpful blog post or article that a post on the site should point toward, please leave a comment so that I can amend the post. I would actually love to add lots of links to other places where debut authors can expand their knowledge of publishing.

I really, really hope that this will help you prepare for your publishing debut! I’m rooting for you–good luck!


Parker PeevyhouseWHERE FUTURES ENDParker Peevyhouse writes fiction about teens in unusual situations. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she works at a junior/senior high school and volunteers with teens. She can usually be found wandering local trails, playing board games, or watching science fiction movies. Her first novel, Where Futures End (Penguin/Dawson, February 2016), which Kirkus called “strange and compelling,” has been featured on such websites as, Barnes and Noble Teen Blog,, and in Glitter Magazine.


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