A great deal has changed since the first time I put pen to paper.
The internet, social media, ebooks, just to name a few. When I first started writing, personal computers were a novelty, and priced beyond the average person's means. I wrote everything long hand on legal pads then painstakingly transferred what I'd written to 20lb paper using a manual typewriter. After that it was off to the printer to have several copies made. Returning home with my latest masterpiece I would painstakingly write a cover letter then weigh the return envelope, the story, and several blank sheets of paper for the editors rejection, or dare I even pray for it, acceptance letter. Once the proper postage had been affixed to the return envelope everything would be carefully packed away into another envelope for delivery to the intended market.
I never sold anything those first few years and soon life demanded I find a real job to support my growing family. It's not to say I didn't try, I did, and I racked up a pretty impressive pile of rejection letters during the course of my first foray into writing. I did learn one very important lesson. A lesson that is still valid even in this age of instant gratification via the internet.
Give a reader a compelling story with believable characters and they will follow you to the ends of the earth. Rip off the reader and they will never trust you again. And what's even worse is they will tell all their friends about your work. Even in this high speed electronic age word of mouth it still the most powerful advertising medium out there. If the writer doesn't honor the reader, the reader will not honor the writer.