Thanks, Simon. I knew from your first comment that we were playing for the same team.
Yes, there are so many pitfalls for new writers now. There was always the "vanity press", but the rise of self-publishing has complicated things. You can make money at it if you're a savvy business person with a marketing plan and a budget, but it doesn't necessarily help improve writing skills.
And the pool is full of sharks. I suspect a lot of potential talent gets wasted in the often dead end alleyways of self-publishing; talent that might otherwise have been nurtured and grown into something better. But I don't have data to support that, it's just a gut feeling.