As a librarian I can tell you many people will religiously read the same authors’ books. We see this constantly as the request list for the latest Patterson or Steele novels head into the hundreds. As a reader myself I’ve read a familiar author’s book that once I was done said, “that was a waste of time.” The inquisitive mind in me would like to know what the ratio is. How much crap can an author get a pass on.
This post from J.A. Konrath on A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing doesn’t quite answer that, but it does post a good question for thought. On Writing Shit, the author wonders how much time should we spend on our books? Granted once you have an established fan-base you have a certain latitude. Even if only ten percent of your million plus readers read your book you are going to make some money. If however you don’t have a million readers clamoring for your latest this won’t be the case, so I guess we all have something to strive for.
Still, the lesson here is that we cannot allow ourselves to spend too much time on any one book. A a certain point we must just walk away. Take what you have and get it out there, or learn from what you have and start a new work. Although the Mythbusters, Adam and Jamie, proved you can polish a turd, would you want to?