Self publishing flourishes - the industry, not the authors
The New York Times has an article on self publishing. In part it says, "self-publishing companies are ramping up their title counts and making money on books that sell as few as five copies, in part because the author, rather than the publisher, pays for things like cover design and printing costs....Not only do they receive no advance payments, but they also often must pay out of their own pockets before seeing a dime. They do not have the benefit of the marketing acumen of traditional publishers, and have diminished access to the vast bookstore distribution pipeline that big publishers can provide. [Full disclosure: diminished access? Basically you are talking no access.]...For many self-published authors, the niche is very small. Mr. Weiss of Author Solutions estimates that the average number of copies sold of titles published through one of its brands is just 150."