So I have just gotten another book to the point where I could be thinking about submitting it. But I am a little bit torn. The previous book I felt was very strong and while difficult to market (romance with a downer ending) I'm exceptionally happy with it. I have been looking to sell that book and had a couple of agents ask for the whole manuscript. All very positive in most different ways. It's not a perfect book but it's a good book and it's well written and tight and just all around good. The book I just finished is fine. It doesn't have the downer ending, which is a step up. It doesn't have quite the same overtly depressing subject matter. I've got it into a good shape and I'm happy with where it is. It works the way I want it to. The emotional moments pop. It's fine. It's good even, maybe. But it's not as well written as my previous one. It's not as powerful, it's not as effecting, it's not a story that will pull you out of the chair and force you to pay attention to it. The first one feels to me like lightning in a bottle; this one feels a bit of a sophomore slump, to me anyway. And the to me is the important bit here. Because to me means a crazy person thinks. There is a reasonable chance that the latter book is just a better book to non-crazy people; that toning down has made it more interesting to other people but less interesting to me. It's also possible that the re-writes the later one underwent have soured me to it because I got knocked off my groove. But, whether it is just me or not I am stuck with the feeling that the first book is a better book and that I should keep trying to sell that. But of course there's clearly an argument to be made for moving on and trying my luck with the new book. It's more commercial, just all around much more of what you'd say was a normal book. But it still feels the weaker book. This is further complicated because the next book is superb but I'm maybe four to six months away from that being ready to submit and that leaves me in the position of not really knowing what to do. Should I be submitting the best book I have right now (the first one)? Should I be putting aside my misgivings and trying something fresh? Or should I be waiting until I get through with the next one?