So I went up to TKE for a few hours yesterday morning to help with inventory.
You know. Inventory. That activity where you count what's on the shelves, then pull what hasn't sold to ship back to the publisher. Did you know bookstores can do that? Return books for credit against a balance? I think that was one of the biggest revelations of all to me when I first started working at TKE--that a book could be returned if it didn't sell.
Anyhoo. As I watched Viv pull books by a fabulous author (and human being) who has won several Newbery honors because her titles don't sell well now, it (re)-occurred to me how fickle taste is. This is a woman who was the toast of the children's literature world awhile ago, and now her books aren't moving. And yet those books are still so good.
The takeaway for writers is this, I think. You should pay attention to the market, yes. But in the end you should write what interests you, because the world of publishing can (and will) shift beneath your feet. And you should also remember that even worthy books don't always make it.
I meant that to be encouraging. Was it?