Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a front page article about a crime novel, The Interpretation of Murder, a debut murder mystery. The novel caught the eye of publishing house Henry Holt & Co. who promoted it relentlessly and early with a megabucks budget. So far, sales are disppointing. What is selling like hot cakes is The Thirteenth Tale, a gothic novel. Why does one novel capture the public's imagination, attention and pocket book, and another languish? Publishers want to know. Writer's sure as hell want to know.
I was going to give you a long post about this, then I discovered that while the WSJ was lying on my desk waiting for me to apply butt to chair, M.J. Rose had already provided an instructive article.
If you're intereted in the story, which is bound to have all "debut novelists" riveted, read Rose's blog: