Some writers, like Stef Penney, make it big with their first novels. A surprising number of "big name" writers had first novels which totally bombed. John Walsh and Guy Adams list a few in the Independent, including Helen Fielding, Dan Brown, Salman Rushdie ... and surprise surprise ... Anthony Burgess. I had always thought Burgess' first novel was Time for a Tiger but it turns out to have been A Vision of Battlements. (What??)
Just as well their publishers gave them a second chance!