Well, then I Give UP. I don't know what it is. Sara Reinke didn't get a new contract.
Here's why I don't get it: She is one of the writers who busts her butt at promo. And it's good promo, too. As in positive, upbeat, inclusive, professional. She draws in other writers, has contests, really works hard. There might be somewhere on the web where she's been negative or nasty, but I haven't seen it. Maybe on occasion she might have been a little Hey, I'm an author! Have I told you about my books? But hell, that's what you're supposed to do, especially when you're newly published.
I'm confused by this, because I'd become convinced lately that with all-out professional promo, you can't lose. You'll beat the odds and stay published.
And what about the "It's all about the books" argument? Short answer: No. It isn't.
I've seen some godawful writers get new contracts. And despite that it's all subjective line I'm always spouting, I do believe it's possible to write a crappy book by ignoring the basic stuff: eg knowing the real meaning and connotation of words (thesaurus divers are obvious), showing not telling etc. I've seen crappy writers get new contracts because enough people buy their books. Maybe they keep the readers going with hooks and twists. Maybe it's not all about the books, but about the plot lines? A few years back, I would have said those crappy writers kept getting contracts because they were all about the sex--but not lately. Not with slippery cores/plunging peni scenes spreading like virulent (heh) flu or the clap.
I've figured out that those crappy writers know how to be authors. They get promo or they spend big, BIG bucks and hire someone who does.
I haven't read Sara's books, but I've read excerpts and I can tell she's okay. So? What's the deal?
I wonder why her promo plan didn't do the trick, but chances are she's too professional to grouse about the problems in public. The woman is classy. So based on absolutely no factual information whatsoever, here's my latest guess: Her promo is based on an internet presence, ebook promo. And it really is a different game with print books. (keep in mind that post is years old and probably off)
So I won't abandon my theory after all. It is all about getting your name out there.
She's a writer and she's eventually going to get more contracts. But for now? I know that nasty, leaden-stomach sensation she might have and I say ugh, sorry, Sara.
UPDATED: yeah, yeah, I was being simplistic. I know a gazillion factors are involved in success/failure. I even know what some of the other ones are.