Here's an article on Konrath's new horror novel (Endurance, written as Jack Kilborn), indie published on Amazon. The writer calls Konrath "the first real independent author" and says, "With all due respect to the others J. A. Konrath is the first author who’s not just using independent as a spring-board to get a deal from a Publisher and join the ranks of published authors who pretend Publishers are good guys because they cut the cheques."
Not sure I agree with that. There are likely other indies who are really devoted to independent publishing, and are really not looking for a deal with a publisher. And Konrath will sign a deal with a publisher if it's the right deal; his AmazonEncore deal makes that clear. I think Konrath's recent career moves show that authors have more choice now, and more ability to turn down offers that take too much away from the author. It doesn't mean we all must turn our backs on other forms of publishing en masse.
There are some typical arguments against indie publishing in the comments: "Konrath’s case is not typical for 99 percent of authors. There is soooooo much more to publishing than simply putting a book into circulation. The average unknown author (or even well-known midlist author) can barely get their most loyal readers to notice when they publish a book...If self-publishing an ebook guaranteed big sales for authors, yes, there’d be no need for publishers. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way."
Konrath is not typical. Granted. He's paying his bills on this stuff, i.e., making a living. Most indie writers will never achieve that. Most fiction writers will never achieve that, whether indie or traditionally published. So yeah, he's a fluke. But people are noticing indie writers on Amazon. Look at Vicki Tyley-- her first indie book on Amazon (Thin Blood) is at #15 right now, and has been ranked very high almost since she released it. Why? I have no idea, but clearly people have noticed her. This does not mean all indie authors will follow suit (or I'd be making a lot more money!). It does mean it's possible.