The book publishing business is extremely random. I know many writers who plot and plan and are certain they figured out the key to success. Then a flood hits the publisher's warehouse and half their print run never makes it to store shelves. Their books are delivered to a Walmart or Sam's and the pallet containing them sits on the dock or gets left out in the rain. The guy who stocks the shelves gets sick and this week's books are returned as next week's arrive. Your e-book gets lost in the pile of 1,500 other new e-books that came out that month.
But let's say everything works in your favor. You do several signings with good solid turnouts and your books seem to be selling like hotcakes. Surely you made a local best seller list...only to discover the list decided not to report the two weeks during which your book came out for internal staff reasons. Or your debut-which you sold as a hard cover-yes!- comes out the same day as Nora Robert's, James Patterson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and four other best sellers. Bookstores stock best sellers. Readers buy best sellers first.
Why am I telling you these depressing things? I want you to write because you want to write. I want you to know that you are writing for you first. Yes, study the market place and polish your work and send it out to good agents and try for the best publishers. Yes, do it! (It shows respect for yourself, your talent and your story.) But don't write genre fiction if you're looking for easy cash, *snort* or bestseller fame. Or even respect from critics and the book world. You won't make it very long if these are the things that motivate you because they are the things you cannot control.
In the beginning and in the end, a successful fiction writing career depends on your love of your story, your happiness with your characters, your joy of bringing to life the stories in your head. When that is enough then, whether you publish well or not, you are successful.
My wish for you this week is that you find the joy in your work. cheers~