A Missing Peace, have earned out, and continue to ear (all be it less than $5/month now that they are two years old). But I've often struggled with this as A Missing Peace is high concept, gritty, and YA, an easier sell than #cleanromance.
But I've come to understand something. The Fate of A Marlwoe Girl (the first--a FREE book-- in The Marlowe Girls series was written for an anthology). The Other Marlowe Girl has paid for a lot of writing ventures. This weekend I realized there are two reasons why. 1)It's the second in a series where the first book did marginally well. Decree of Hope which in my opinion is one of the best books I've ever written and because it was written later--with more experience and further education--is probably the strongest of my published works. But it doesn't earn the way TOMG does. And now I know why. First of all, there is no free book in that series. An imprint owns the first book, so I can't make it free. But secondly the first in the other series was written for a submissions call.
What does that mean? It tells me what I already knew. I'm not great at marketing, or even predicting the market. Publishers are. That's how they've managed to stay in business over the past five or six years with talent going indie. They know what the market is looking for. What's the writing tip here? Look at calls for submissions in your genre. Is someone looking for something specific? Chances are it's because they think it will sell. A submission call is usually just a general idea. A concept. Use it as jumping off place, a springboard. Make it your own, and do with it what you will. Once I finish my thesis, I'm going to be looking at submission calls for several subgenres of romance I think I might be interested in and I'll start planning a trilogy around what appeals to me most.
Have you ever written to a submission call? What has your experience been?