I was jealous when I got the ARC because it came with a fantastic and obviously very expensive press kit. Even the ARC has an embossed cover. I was even more jealous to note that it was the author's, Lisa Unger's first book.
Only it wasn't. She's really Lisa Miscione, who wrote five books featuring New York crime writer Lydia Strong.
Just like Richard Hawke's book, Speak of the Devil, Beautiful Lies wasn't a first book at all, even though all the reviews marveled at how assured it was for a first novel. Richard Hawke is really Tim Cockey, who wrote a whole series of books featuring a funeral home owning sleuth.
I have a friend who got great advanced, great reviews, sold in foreign countries, even toured in foreign countries. But the friend didn't make enough for the publisher to keep handing out hefty advances. Now the friend will reappear - under a new name.
Even Lief Enger, who wrote Peace Like A River, his "first" book, had really written several mysteries with his brother under a combined name.
Another kind of reinvention is writing a different kind of book, like Charlaine Harris. Or switching genres, like Janet Evanovich, who was supposed to be washed up as a romance writer and then started writing books about Stephanie Plum. Or switching audiences, like I have in moving to YAs.
Publishing is a tough business. For everyone who managed to switch to a new identity or new type of book, there are probably several more authors who got dropped and then couldn't get picked up again.
I still can't imagine doing anything else.