Not so long ago, there was no internet and the only way to get a book published so the public could find it was to go through a traditional publisher who thought the book might sell. Some of those books didn’t, but they at least had sentences in readable English and some hint of a story.
Now with NaNoWriMo and eBook publishing, people who have never even read a book even when ordered to do so in school can participate in NaNo, throw enough word-shaped letter combos on a page to complete a word count goal, and run the result through Kindle Direct Publishing and have it appear as a book for sale without anyone having to read it first.
And that’s what the more competent Indie authors have to compete with. Scads of not-really-novels that make our potential readers wary of any fiction not vetted by a publishing house.
At the same time, traditionally published fiction is going down the crapper of wokeness/political correctness. I read one novel in which a male character who didn’t even need to exist for story reasons was given a ‘husband’ for non-virtue signalling reasons, and another in which a woman-of-action sci-fi character is fretting about what pronoun to use when thinking about (non-telepathic) asexual aliens, and decides to go with made up fake pronouns. Nonsense like this weakens stories, but major publishers seem to care less about that than they care about Leftist conformity.
The challenge for Indie authors today is to find a way to show potential readers that our works are actual, readable fiction with stories in them, not just word salad. It’s hard work. We have to learn about real book marketing methods from good sources, not just imitate a hopeless book spammer and hope for the best. You need to have samples of your work available to the questioning would-be reader. I have seen Indie authors of nonfiction use up the whole book sample on Amazon with a long intro telling what the book is about, so no one can check out any actual content for free. I never buy books like that.
You might post a short story or flash fiction piece on your author blog or elsewhere just to show evidence of your ability to actually write something a reader might enjoy. Or submit short stories to anthologies. Some writers who do novels in series like to make the first novel in a series available as a free eBook.
This is necessary, because people will not just trust you because you say you can write. You have to ‘audition’ for the role of author these days.
But the good news is that if you learn to tell an interesting story, even if you make mistakes along the way, you will start finding people who enjoy the kind of stories you want to tell.