As long as the old best-seller system keeps declining, making it much, much harder for new writers to break in, alternatives will have to emerge. The only advice that I can give is self-promotion and going where the readers are.
A strong brand identity is up to you. Want to be 'cool'? It's in your hands. Think about what you want to message to potential customers. Form a plan. Write it down. IMPLEMENT that plan. And don't be afraid to modify the plan as you go along.
Polling is a practice where venues itemize concert-goers according to who they came to see in order to determine how bands are paid. It has nothing to do with the actual job performance of show-rocking.