Creators such as artists, authors, and even philosophers are better off having a small number of fanatic followers rather than thousands of people who merely appreciate their work.
Fandom brings with it an asymmetry. There is no opposite of buying a book or commissioning a piece of art. Anybody who adores your work can do much more for you than you than somebody who doesn’t like your work. True fans will spend good money for your work, sing its praises and tell their friends. The worst that somebody who doesn’t like your work can usually do is to ignore it, but that doesn’t hurt you much.
The word ‘fan’ has its roots in the word fanatic. Kevin Kelly wrote about how having a thousand true fans can help individual creators work full time on their creations and earn a respectable income.
The number of people who adore your work count. The number of people who dislike it don’t count. You are better off delighting a select minority even at the cost of displeasing the vast majority.