Originally Posted by J-WO
Something I've always been curious about- is there a 'One strike and your out policy' to debut novelists, generally speaking?
What I mean is, if you had a two book deal, say, and you delivered them on time and your publishers liked them but they bombed with the public and you got dropped, would that be a black mark in the industry's eyes?
Or would another publishing house see all that experience as a positive?
That is definitely a problem. It doesn't necesarily mean your career is over, but look at it this way: If W H Smiths have seen two or three books by an author that have been well published fail to catch the public's imagination, why would they take a chance on another book, just because it came from a different publisher? They are a commercial business, so they need a number of good reasons to do so - which can be any number of things, such as greater enthusiasm, MUCH better covers, a large marketing spend and a move to a diferent area...but the majority of times, when the public has spoken by not opening their wallets it's difficult to get the book chains to take the author on in the future. Publishers know that, so they are exceedingly careful about offering a deal to an author in that situation. And this is far more the case than it was twenty years ago. However, I repeat what I always say: there are no absolute templates. It does happen.