Note: I define 'setting' as where and when a novel takes place, as well as what the genre entails. It is the background to the picture of the story.
I realize there are a lot of factors that contribute to making bestsellers become bestsellers, and that the list is by no means limited to writing and setting. My concern is with writing versus setting. I've seen some books (which I will not name, to avoid the inevitable debate), that to me at least, seem to have become bestsellers simply through their setting. They are written well, certainly, but they are often full of mistakes, and the writing in general is not the stuff of greatness.
This raises the question: can a novel become a bestseller (mostly) because of its setting? Can you get away with mediocre writing and still sell because your setting is popular?
Note: I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to get away with mediocre writing. :) I'm actually hoping that the answer to the question above is 'no'; that there is some other reason these novels have become bestsellers.