This post could have gone under marketing or writing. I chose writing, because it’s almost anti-marketing.
I hear write to market a lot. Figure out which genre’s are hot and write for those genre’s. You are more likely to get published if you write to market, you are more likely to make money if you write to market. I can’t do it though.
See, I don’t pick what I’m going to write based on what is going to sell, or what I think will be popular. I pick it based on what story ideas I have and what excites me. If I’m feeling stoked about my literary vampire focused supernatural romance I write that. If I’m feeling stoked about my exploration of the effect of high magic on warfare I write that.
The idea of writing based on some artificial external criteria makes me feel like I don’t want to write.
Now, there’a another side to this – and this is the marketing side. Hot genre’s change. I’m self publishing, and distributing my books online. The book I put out there today is still available ten years from now, twenty years from now, as long as I want it to be. The end effect of that is that the genre I wrote for might come around again. Sure, zombies are on the decline right now – but they might be the hottest thing on the planet in seven years, and my book will still be there when that happens.
So, write what you love. The love will show, because you will produce a great story that way. Don’t write what you think people want. Hell, unless you write very fast that genre you wrote to might have died by the time you have a book ready anyway.