Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers a dozen reasons why writers disappear. She assembles inside information, adds the seasoning of her experience, and clearly explains hitherto misunderstood truths about the workings of the publishing industry.
Many are technical or legal, others are frankly humorous:
The publishers, editors, and agents all know each other and gossip routinely. They also would tell stories about writers who acted badly, and those writers would find themselves effectively blacklisted. Now, when I say badly, I mean truly bad behavior. Not rudeness (most writers are rude, sorry to tell you), not lack of social skills (most writers work alone and forget how to be around people), not even things like slapping an editor can get a writer blacklisted.
Rusch says the order of magnitude of bad behavior needed to get blacklisted is something like calling up the CEO of a major chain bookstore and abusing him because his stores aren’t stocking enough copies of the writer’s book.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the link.]