There are so many entities that seem to put themselves between you and the folks who read your books: retailers, Amazon (they seem to be a special category all their own), publishers, agents, publicists, media, social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc), communities (Goodreads, Wattpad, etc), just to name some of the most obvious.
In other words, there is:
You, the author –> some other entity –> the reader/audience.
Now, for the most part, these entities add value. [...]