By Edward Nawotka
Today’s lead story recounts the travails of various authors, agents and editors in dealing with selling, writing and publishing second books. It’s long been held that a “second book jinx” exists. Do you think it’s true?
Personally, I have several friends who have struggled with their second books. But the reason has as much to do with the publishing industry as with them: These writers — primarily, but not exclusively novelists — were all had two book contracts. After having spend years, and in some cases, a decade or more sweating over their first books. Yet, when it comes to their second books, they’re given a year or two at most to deliver the follow-up. How could they not deliver something somewhat inferior to the first work?
Certainly the authors could have turned down the two-book contract, but knowing the financial situations most writers face, few will have the means to say “no.”
So, do you think the book business by nature of offering two-book contracts to debut novelists are inadvertently setting up second books to fail?
Let us know what you think in the comments.