"The Harry Potter Series" by J.K. Rowling. As McGonagall said, "there won't be a child in our world who doesn't know his name." J.K. Rowling had no idea how true those words be when she wrote them in the first chapter of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Her books are enjoyed and read by everyone young and old. Why did she so successful when others have been left begging for scraps?
"50 Shades of Grey" by E.L. James. It's well known that this New York Times bestseller started off as "Twilight" fanfiction that the author was encouraged to make their own. The books revolve around a girl who's into some pretty kinky things. I was never a big fan of them personally, but they have now become movies so I can't say they weren't successful. Why is it this fanfiction author was able to break so big but others can't or don't?
"The Lost Voices Trilogy" by Sarah Porter. Most people I've talked to have never heard of it despite it being one of my favorite books series in high school. I thought the books were amazing and better than any other mermaid book I've ever read (even though it's about sirens, not mermaids). Why is it that amazing authors like this fall through the cracks?
Then there are the countless fanfiction authors who have written stories that are of equal greatness to that of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" but will never glimpse the fame of Rowling or James. I've read stories that are better than some of the classics we're force-fed in high school and yet they can be accessed free online. The authors make no money from their amazing work — they write for their own personal satisfaction.
That's great but it doesn't seem fair. Some fanfiction authors put more hours into their work than authors that make the bestseller lists. Why shouldn't they make some money from what they do too? Even I'm a self-published author but I have yet to make anything worth mentioning.
Neurosurgeons make thousands of dollars for something they went to school to learn. Granted, they have a ton of student loan debt, they can still be considered well off by many accounts. Many writers never make more than the equivalent of minimum wage. And what they do is harder than neurosurgery.
Don't believe me? Think about this: you can be taught how to do neurosurgery. It's a skill that can be practiced and perfected. You can't teach a world no one has created. Creativity is a gift that you either have or don't have.