I get glum. About politics I get glum. I get mopey about the state of literacy and the ways people consume entertainment and information. I get glum.
Some days I read that things are actually going just fine with regard to book sales and I come away thinking bright thoughts about how great it is to live in this day and age. And to have aspirations to be a successful independent author. And to live in this fair and progressive Merica.
Some days --- admittedly, most days --- I see the wash of superficial big-budget entertainment material and the sea of copycat-ism. And I get glum. Over and over, I get glum.
I like that one of the richest women in the solar system is an author of children's fiction --- fiction that happens to also be quite artful and smart and well-written.
I would love to see a clear picture arrayed like a dartboard of what my ideal market looks like. Then, with my quill I can throw toward a target market of readers who actually exist outside my own imaginings or projections.
It's hard to know for sure what I should aim for. I don't want to spend a year working on something that will not sell and will just make me feel like crying in my beer when all's said and done. I want to aim for an actual market, but because I am a mostly solitary ne'er-do-well author, I don't have a very reliable picture of what the real world is like. What my potential readers are like. As I mentioned, I get a bipolar view about things out there in 'Merica.
Is there a way I can know what kind of books sell the best on Amazon and elsewhere?
Is it wrong of me to think in this way?
Does anyone know what sells best?