Its Busy Out There
Things are incredibly busy out there in the world of self-publishing or being some other sort of creator. There are more videogames, music, ebooks, comics, webcomics, and everything than ever. Also, despite the doom and gloom noise about how publishers are in trouble and not many writers making it, both industries are currently making more money than ever. Even movies, despite complaints of piracy and other problems, are still making money and setting records. Even with the minority of writers being the ones that actually make money out of their writing, there are still more than most times in the past.
One of the big issues is the noise; there is so damn much of it. There are hundreds of thousands of games, books, movies, and everything being made. If you don't go viral, if you can't get people to share from one person to the next giving you that oh so necessary attention you're probably in trouble. That's the question. How do you go from zero to something? Well, there are two major ways.
Version one is Zero to Something. Something can be any number above zero. This is the slow growth, the way that everyone really has to try for. Keep churning out good things, keep working at it, keep getting better, and slowly you'll continue to build. This also means going out there, marketing, doing outreach to people, and so forth. This way is reliable, and it is inside your control. You can keep doing it incrementally this way, and this is what so many other people do.
The other version is getting to superstar. This is what most people think that they want; this is things like "50 Shades" - it revolutionized things immediately. If you start at zero and go all the way to superstar immediately, it is unlikely that you have what you need to stay there. The saying is that you're only as good as your last hit, and its pretty true. There are a lot of books out there deconstructing what it takes to get to that superstar, to make things viral. Near as I can tell, there a few guidelines, but they basically follow a few things that we already knew. Be good, make things very good, then make them even better. Show people, show your small group you've already built, then get lucky. I have a friend that recently has been slowly growing his blog, then released a meme of the new Joker. It went crazy and had over 50,000 views. This demolished ever other record he had ever set. It hasn't made him any extra sales yet though. One successful hit, without follow-up, limits you.
Dealing with how busy it is out there relies on two things. The first; be amazing. A lot of the books that are being released are shit. Absolute shit. Second: keep navigating. Kindle Unlimited was amazing, then it wasn't. Things change, always getting tweaked and improved. You need to watch these things yourself and keep up on it. Or, you need a publisher or a business person to do it for you. This is business you; it should be run better than your job. Go kick ass.