A recent article, "What do authors need?", poses a good question: Why don't famous authors such as Stephen King publish their own books and keep the profits to themselves, out of the hands of corporate publishers?
A notable passage:
Barriers to entry to publishing have reached almost zero, sure. But being able to publish isn’t the same as being able to profitably publish. Production is easy. Distribution is not. Even digital distribution, while frictionless, is not easy to convert to sales without the ability to engage a readership who’ll fork over money for your product.