The Guardian article and subsequent twitter frenzy over the idea that some writers are famous for the wrong book had me thinking about what a breakout book really is. The Guardian argues that many authors’ most well-known books are hardly their best, so why did those breakout commercially while, for example, their first book did not?
There are two elements to this conversation. Firstly, what is a breakout book and is there a formula? Unfortunately, no. But, there are many puzzle pieces that when assembled correctly can provide a great foundation to a novel. This, mixed with talent and a great voice, can breakout. Secondly, what happens when your first novel isn’t a breakout book? Where do you go from there?