If someone tells you don’t write fantasy, it won’t sell, well there’s a few things you can point out to that person.
First, their information is from pre-1977. Point that out to them. Highlight it in big neon letters. Because 1977 was the year Terry Brooks topped the New York Times Bestseller List with a fantasy novel. This ushered in a new era of fantasy novels selling pretty well.
The second thing is to show them research that states how much the top ten fantasy writers earn. Wikipedia is a good place to start but like everyone who’s ever heard of it (ie everyone but grandma) knows, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone and shouldn’t be taken as gospel.
J K Rowling has earned a billion dollars. What she did was write a good children’s book for children and found a publisher who tried the radical notion of giving it to a child to read. (They asked for more) While it’s true she didn’t start out so well, initially, well, you know she now has approximately All The Money.
George R R Martin has half that, and when Winds of Winter is released, he’ll have approximately All The Money too.
Stephen King has several books, many of which turn into successful movies, and he mixes it up between proper, supernatural horror and non-supernatural suspense thrillers. You don’t need figures to know he’s doing well. But his net work is approx. $400 million. How is that not profitable?
And don’t even get me started on Patrick Rothfuss, we’ll be here all night.
Finally, point out that Young Adult fiction is in high demand, and will probably be so for as long as there’s a YA market. It’s hot, but there’s no telling how hot it’ll stay or for how long.
DON’T write something because it’s Hot Right Now. It’ll be cold by the time you publish it. Write what you’re passionate about, and market it, and get it professionally edited, and pay good money for good cover design, and you’ll have a good chance of a return on investment. Authors should have other revenue incomes, sure. It’s a fickle business and there’s no guarantees. But those who succeed repeatedly are the ones with professional attitudes and who’ve done the hard work and their homework too.
And you can always write crime fiction.
Except you shouldn’t do that just to get rich, as it’ll be an obvious cop-out if you know you’re not interested and no-one will buy it. Write crime fiction because you like crime fiction. Write memoirs because you like memoirs. Write speculative fiction because you enjoy speculative fiction. Write what you’re passionate about, and it’ll show. That will win you serious points. There’s few guaranteed strategies, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll maximise your chances.
And when the haters hate on you, just keep going. You’ll be able to laugh at them from your mountain of gold. Theoretically.