Hugh Howey, author of the Wool series (a self-published series of books, using Amazon's Kindle Direct Platform), has a piece in Salon on self-publishing and how it's a writer's best bet for income:
None of this is meant to say that everyone who self-publishes — even those who study the craft, take their work seriously, and produce a constant stream of material — will find material success. There is also luck involved and the fickle tastes of readers. But what is becoming more apparent with every passing day is that you have a better chance of paying a bill or two through self-publishing than you do through any other means of publication.
Howey makes a lot of great points. Self-published authors retain their rights, and can sell and/or license them as they see fit. Without intermediaries such as agents and publishers, self-publishers also hear directly from their readers and have a better understanding of what those readers want. None of this is a guarantee of success, but self-publishing can remove many obstacles to success.
Depending on how you define success:
There’s a silent mob out there making hundreds of dollars a month while doing something they love, and this should be celebrated.
It's a good piece. Here's to the silent mob.