He then cross-posts Kirstin Morrell's definition of success:
Now, let's define success. To me, it would be someone who makes a full-time living from writing SF novels, novellas, and/or short stories, without living below the poverty line. That's success as I would define it. And I don't know one SF author who self-publishes who would meet my criteria for success.
I really don't see how this can possibly be an appropriate definition, for two reasons.
First, according to this definition every author everywhere who has a day job is a failure. Poof! There went basically the entire literary fiction genre. Every last one of those people has a day job. Failures all?
Second, the standard of comparison being employed is absurd. To judge whether or not a self-publishing venture is a success, all you have to do is compare your outcome to your likely outcome if you had continued to pursue traditional publishing. Since the overwhelming majority - maybe 99.99% - of people who pursue traditional publishing will never get an agent, never get published, and never sell a single book, any of those people who pursue self-publishing and sell even one copy or net even one dollar made the right decision.
When someone asks, "Should I self-publish?" it's really silly to answer them, "No, because if you self-publish, you won't be as successful as Dean Koontz." The only method of analysis that makes any sense whatsoever is to say, "Ask yourself if you will sell more books, get more readers, and make more money by self-publishing or by traditional publishing."
I would tell everyone considering writing to self-publish. If you don't buy scratch tickets, self-publish. If you don't expect to win the Lotto, self-publish. If you pursue traditional publishing, the odds are overwhelming that you will never sell one single book. If you self-publish using CreateSpace and the Amazon Kindle Store, you at least have a chance to make some sales and get some readers. For every 1000 of you out there who decide you want to write query letters and keep your fingers crossed for a traditional publisher instead, 999 of you will utterly fail and never sell a single book to anyone.