This particular topic seems to come up A LOT in the writing world, and today I want to tackle it head-on.
Having been writing for many years - and still managing to squeak by when it comes to sales, you might think I would be all for writing what sells in favor of writing your passion. Romance/Erotica bring in the most bucks according to bookstr.com, followed by Crime/Mystery. This was an interesting find, though the genre in first-place really didn't surprise me. Unfortunately, I don't write romance or erotica and have no desire to do so. But I do write mysteries and find that these are usually the books people will pick up first when I'm doing a book signing. (Though until now I didn't know they were second on the list). As you will see from the chart provided by bookstr, Christian fiction is third on the list of best selling genres (also something I write), followed by Science Fiction/Fantasy - a genre I am tackling for the first time this year. Horror takes last, or fifth place. This actually surprised me a little, though you will more than likely not be seeing a horror novel from my hands. At any rate, what does this mean for you and your writing? What if you write westerns, children's books, or the well-needed cookbook? Don't give up on your dreams, I say. We need you, If the only reason you're writing a book in the first place is to receive the big bucks, you might want to re-think your dream. The big bucks come to some writers, but, quite frankly, much more are making a part-time living if they're even doing that. Does that mean that their book - sucks? It could, but more than likely, the book they are putting out there is well-worth someone's time. It may even be a life-changer. There is an awful lot more to do with book sales than just writing in the 'right' genre anyway, among them having the money to market. Sure, you can market with little to no money (my marketing book proves that) but there is that huge valley between a few good sales and the top seller on Amazon, and it may take you years to finally say you've reached the pinnacle of monetary success. Until then, and even after you've reached what you call 'success' remember to continue to write what you love. Writing your passion, instead of the next book craze, is more than just nice sounding. I think you'll be happier with yourself.
Consider these thoughts in writing for television or movies, and see how closely they relate to book writing in general when it comes to passion.
I haven't talked much about setting in the past, but this video is fantastic. How does your setting mirror what the character is going through? Do you have a variety of setting? Learn what you can do to make your setting as strong as your characters.