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If I were to publish a book, is there any chance for it to become very popular? let's assume is a good book, would it go unnoticed for being an author's first book or does it entirely depend on the book?

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  • Self-publish or publishing contract? Jun 26 '14 at 0:22
  • Hopefully publishing contract Jun 26 '14 at 0:22
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    I'd say you may be sure if you got yourself a big name with 10th or so book, your first will become popular too :)
    – SF.
    Jun 27 '14 at 11:01
  • Sometimes an author will self-publish a small run and later get picked up by a major publisher. If it's good, it can succeed - especially today with the Internet to spread the news for free.
    – Joe
    Jul 7 '14 at 21:57
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J.K. Rowling's debut novel was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It was pretty successful.

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For some writers, ONLY their first book was popular. (Some only write one book. Success can be as crippling as failure.) Here's a list:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/5477.Authors_With_Only_One_Whole_Novel

Although that list isn't counting plays and short stories, which is certainly unfair, I find it telling how many famous writers only wrote one novel.

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of course debuts can do well if they're good. Some of it will also depend on marketing and genre, but there's nothing stopping a first novel from being a smash.

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