Publishing is changing. It is much easier and less expensive now for an author to reach out to the audience directly. The problem is that it is easy for everyone to do this.
If you have a website, you know that enticing people to view it can be a problem when millions of other sites clamor for attention. The same is true now for “books.” I put the term in quotation marks because so many publications are just as virtual as sites.
Here’s a well-thought-out essay about the situation from an industry professional. If you are thinking about publishing your work, it’s worth a read.
The Future of the Author-Publisher Relationship – Jane Friedman.