I cannot help thinking of this when I read Amanda Hocking's post about becoming a notable item on the New York Times Bestsellers. For her it meant nothing to be popular and I can understand this. Maybe not the popularity but the understanding that it means nothing to be successful. It takes time for the realisation that being successful is only a stepping stone. You now have the pressure for your next novel to somehow rekindle the same magic of the previous book. You are no longer an unknown, you can no longer write what you feel. You have been segregated to a genre. You are the vampire girl or the zombie guy (say). You no longer have the free will to write what you wish ... but only if you have a publisher.
I think not being dictated by a publisher or some sort of media analyst is a good thing. You should never become complacent and believe that you can only write YA fiction or love triangles. You should never believe that you need to satisfy your fans' wishes. If they are true fans they will be willing to follow your journey where you wish to travel. They should be happy to enjoy something that might not be what they expected. There is nothing worse than being pigeon-holed and I will do everything within my power to never be that way.