|Building an audience|
All that is gone.
The new paradigm, enabled by web 2.0, is based on immediate feedback.
It goes something like this: "Write. Publish. See how people react. Write better. Repeat." Continue until you have an audience.
The traditional publisher only comes into the picture after the writer has an audience. The traditional publisher's job is to get the book into the global book distribution system. I don't believe the publisher builds the audience any more -- unless your name is Stephen King.