A decisive stirring blog post by Gwyn Headley. Read it yourself, and thoroughly. You don't have to be in publishing to see the sense it makes.
But here are some titillating quotes to entice you ~
"Orphan Books. By my definition, an Orphan Book is one that has been commissioned by an editor in a publishing house who has then left before the book has been published.
What this means is that there is no one within the publishers to root for the book. No one to stand up at a sales conference and say “This guy is pretty good. He writes like a dream, looks like a Greek god and has a 36DD bust” — all the attributes the modern publisher demands from its authors. Instead they probably pictured some fat old git slumped over his keyboard and relegated the title (and any attendant publicity) to the ‘Also published this year’ pile.
It’s not enough to be published. The publisher has to back his judgement, even the judgement of former staff, and promote the hell out of the book.
What if these Very Large Publishers created an Author Liaison Director - [my emboldenment] - someone not directly involved in any part of the publishing process, whose job it was to comfort and reassure all the authors and translators who feel they are being trampled underfoot? It wouldn’t cost a lot, and the goodwill generated would be incalculable."