Let's look at the newest list of debut fiction, shall we?
First up, we can expect Sam Michel's first novel. Yes, he has already been published, a collection of short stories. What else, you ask, as you prepare to write a collection of short stories so that you, too, can be a published author. He's taught creative writing, making good use of his MFA. Let's skip him and move on to someone we might have a better chance of emulating.
A novel from a former New York Post columnist, I see. And it's a book about the Hamptons, written by someone who has undoubtedly spent time in the Hamptons, and witnessed all the hot tub hookups, hangovers, etc., etc. And who gives a flying fuck about the Hamptons when you're not living in NYC? Moving along...
I see that Jennie Nash has a novel in the pipeline. She wrote a book about her travails with breast cancer. Technically, her novel is her debut in the fiction world, but realistically, she is already a published author with a big, fat publishing cred. Next?
There's a guy who's a member of a creative writing troupe that teaches creative writing classes, and now he's getting a novel published. There's a woman who pens inspirational columns and she's got an inspirational novel coming out, published by a Christian-leaning press.
I'd say it's hopeless for the unpublished. I have twenty short story submissions out there, and I'm going to get me a publishing credit one way or another. And when I have enough for a collection, I'll be right behind Sam Michel in the debut novel queue.