I sit down to compose. It usually takes me hours, but more often than not it takes me a day to sketch some ideas, then a day to make something more arranged out of them, then another day to mix and master (which usually goes well into the night), then the following morning - to check that the mix sounds acceptable. Sometimes it takes more time: feedback, revising, deleting entire tracks, and so on.
The proceeds of Aquanaut all go towards making time, that is then used for all of the above. A bunch of sales means I can take a day off, stop trying to figure out rent, food, etc, and sit down to compose something new.
In Aquanaut I asked that people do not share the lossless versions online. I figured I'd trade the mp3s for that and everyone is happy at 320kbps. In return, I pursue all FLAC posts and ask people to take them down. Sometimes site owners are stubborn and ask for documents which take forever to make.
Unfortunately people do not respect that little "readme.txt". So on the other hand, some of my time now has to go towards chasing and taking down the FLAC copies. I have nothing against people copying those to their friends (though buying a gift warms my heart too). But I take issue with sites and lockers making ad money by posting the work of independent artists such as myself. Torrent this all you want, but I don't want to find it on Google.
I shouldn't even be writing this.
I am utterly grateful to the majority of listeners who decide to pay more than the asking price, as I bear Paypal's and Bandcamp's costs.
There is no middleman overpricing the product. This is the whole mechanism.