I'm learning that now is the greatest time ever in history to be a writer. eReaders and eBooks are destroying the death grip once held for the longest time by the Big 6 publishers. They were the gate keepers who said YOU SHALL NOT PASS! To thousands of great authors of the past.
They were the ones you prayed to for favor and blessing in hopes they will give you a contract and hog most of the profits, giving you mere morsels and a reminder to be thankful you got anything at all. There are some that say "but now anyone can publish anything and there's gonna be crap now."
While there is a fraction of truth to this, as an author who's on the road to success right now, I can say that almost by default, all books are invisible. You'll be lucky if anyone finds you and that's a good thing.
Because I'm discovering that being a successful author is not about writing a great book (even though that's your main objective)its about growing and nurturing a fan base of followers who will buy your books sight/title unseen because they trust and know you through your work. JK Rowling's latest book sucks according to the reviews but read them, many will buy just on name alone, even at $17 bucks for a digital download.
I'm learning I need to market myself, grow my readers, earn their loyalty & trust, all which takes time. Word of mouth is going to make me successful, even in a sea of crappy books. :-)