With Louis CK selling his stand-up specials directly to customers from his own website for five bucks a pop, we’re starting to see ways that the last panel can really come to be the norm.
The book industry is going in a similar direction. Just as middle-men are getting removed from the relationship between the musician and their audience, the same is happening for writers and their readers. Now, writers will always need editors, the unsung heros of literature, and unless they want to spend a lot of time on social networks, they will need people to spend energy publicizing their work. So while it doesn’t seem like books will become a one-man or one-woman operation in most cases, the process probably will start to slim down, which means writers will take a larger cut of the profit. And that’s totally okay with this publisher, because they deserve it.