In certain military academies there is this exercise: The examinee is to imagine that he is a general in command of a battlefront. In one area his troops are only holding their own, in another are being routed, in a third are driving back the enemy. With limited resources, where is he to send support? The correct answer is: to the successful sector; the rest must be left to their fate. It seems few people give the right answer; they mislead themselves with compassionate thoughts for the less successful soldiers. This is how publishers think. An already successful or known author gets advertisements, but struggling or unknown ones are expected to sink or swim. When the public sees advertisements for a novel on the underground, they are seeing reserves being sent to a successful sector of the battlefront. They are seeing a best-seller being created from a novel that is already a success.
From Doris Lessing, Walking in the Shade: Volume Two of My Autobiography 1949-1962 (1997).