What in hell is happening to the book business?
If you are an author, or a wannabe author, you simply MUST read this incredible but link-laden blog by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. What she describes will make you believe that Kafka has been put in charge of the publishing industry.
It will tell you why you'd be a fool to seek an agent and traditional publisher these days. Read the post, and you'll understand why I've gone the "indie" route.