Visual artists face similar hurtles yet the Information Age offers many avenues for success in their calling. Experiencing a piece of visual art (generally) requires far less time investment than reading a story. While the period it takes to experience art does not always link to financial success, the ability to quickly judge thousands of pieces is suited to a generation used to a visual medium where attention spans are short.
Literary works also have additional competition in the digital era – fanfiction. The desire to continue the journey with favourite character(s) in the same or different context is one I completely understand. I read a good deal of fanfiction and even contribute to several of my favourite fandoms. It is, however, necessary to acknowledge that fanfiction is undoubtedly competition for unique narratives. Every fanfiction I read means I'm not reading one original story. Ultimately, enjoyment of the literary genre is a success, no matter the contents.
As the world and its mediums for storytelling continue evolving, literary works will change along with them. Staying relevant and attracting the attention of potential readers are the biggest challenges for modern authors. There's no magic answer – just the increased importance of marketing in an author's life.