1. In the pre-internet age, traditional dead-tree books effectively came with DRM built in, in a manner quite unlike LP or CD records -- it's not easy to take a book and make a usable duplicate. (If you don't believe me, you're welcome to go pick a fight with a photocopier.)
Oh yeah, writing without editors works out real well.
1) Gate-keeping. I know this first one is going to be controversial, but it really is important. Agents and publishers do reject things they shouldn't, and it's not a perfect system. But they also reject tons of stuff that really does need to be rejected. I like to be able to find a book that doesn't suck without first having to wade through a slush pile of crap. Agents and publishers perform this function for me.
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