I don't find the principle here sad.
I find the situation sad. I feel so incredibly sad for the author. Not because they haven't achieved J.K. Rowling status, but because they have dedicated a portion of their life to creating a thought-out compilation of words in the hopes of achieving beauty through writing.
I firmly believe in the beauty of the written word, especially on a didactic or fiction-based, non-reference level.
So even if the dude has just written a piece of literary shit and his main goal was making money, I don't doubt that, on some level, it was an intense, personal experience, similar to that of the hero in a classic bildungsroman.
Therefore, it's fucking sad. Like a kid sitting alone at his table on his birthday because no one showed up.