You know what? I was thinking about it and I decided I'm kind of over this whole whats-working-in-this-market thing. I mean, I think it's important to consider the market when writing, don't get me wrong. But I think an alternate point of view is equally important, which is to say:
You should write the book that you love and try to market it and if that doesn't work, try again. A good friend of mine who wrote a very successful first novel once admitted to me that it was actually his eleventh--the first ten he wrote were in boxes under the bed.
If you can't sell your book to a traditional publisher get it out there however you can. So many of my clients self-published first: Laurie Notaro, Will Clarke, Frank Daniels. In fact, go check this out: http://www.myspace.com/nfrankdaniels . Frank's first novel, FUTUREPROOF was published this month by HarperCollins, and the story of how he got there is pretty amazing.
Writing to the market so often doesn't work because it doesn't feel sincere. I know it's corny, but I really do represent books that come from the heart. And to be honest, I'm a true contrarian who loves going against the grain to a certain extent--I get pretty excited about a project I love that I know will be a tough sell. So I'm less worried about the marketability of your project than I am about the emotional truth of what you have to say.
That's my middle-of-the-night-can't-sleep pep talk. More later.