Cut out the middle man!
How many times have you heard that said as a positive call to action? Well there is a darker side to this glorious plan. It stems simply from this question, "What does the Middle Man do?". If your answer is take our money and invent work then shame on you.
What they most often provide is some perspective, and a range of people and business skills.
Publishers provide market research, business analysis and a range skills that are often overlooked. Agents do networking and chasing up so you don't have to. Billing Service handles a whole range of messy interconnected laws between countries, insurance and other items.
Mostly they provide perspective a third party to look in and stop the madness of creative train. I've been on board more than one of those and sometime they have been slowed down and saved. Yet I think more than one creative train has gained too much speed and derailed though it's own madness.
So I say to you the third party, the partners, the community, the network, all these people they are Sanity!