I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that George Gissing was a fucking prophet:
"To have money is becoming of more and more importance in a literary career; principally because to have money is to have friends. Year by year, such influence grows of more account. A lucky man will still occasionally succeed by dint of his own honest perseverance, but the chances are dead against anyone who can't make private interest with influential people; his work is simply overwhelmed by that of the men who have better opportunities.
"Don't you think that, even today, really good work will sooner or later be recognized?"
"Later, rather than sooner; and very likely the man can't wait; he starves in the meantime. You understand that I am not speaking of genius; I mean marketable literary work. The quantity turned out is so great that there is no hope for the special attention of the public unless one can afford to advertise hugely."
So said George Gissing. In 1891.
It has been ever thus, and thus it shall ever be.