Before you switch off from another doomsaying prophesy, this is actually quite an interesting article from New York Magazine:
The book business as we know it will not be living happily ever after. With sales stagnating, CEO heads rolling, big-name authors playing musical chairs, and Amazon looming as the new boogeyman, publishing might have to look for its future outside the corporate world
The demise of publishing has been predicted since the days of Gutenberg. But for most of the past century—through wars and depressions—the business of books has jogged along at a steady pace. It’s one of the main (some would say only) advantages of working in a “mature” industry: no unsustainable highs, no devastating lows. A stoic calm, peppered with a bit of gallows humor, prevailed in the industry.
Survey New York’s oldest culture industry this season, however, and you won’t find many stoics. What you will find are prophets of doom, Cassandras in blazers and black dresses arguing at elegant lunches over What Is to Be Done. Even best-selling publishers and agents fresh from seven-figure deals worry about what’s coming next. Two, five years from now—who knows? Life moves fast in the waning era of print; publishing doesn’t.
Continue reading at: http://nymag.com/news/media/50279/
On a more positive note, here is one of the videos referred to earlier in the piece – staff at new imprint HarperStudio holding aloft yellow lightbulbs and having some bright ideas about book publishing:
We need a bit of yellow lightbulb thinking, rather than bemoaning the fate of publishing. Why not slash those absurd advances and offer 50% royalties instead – a model HarperStudio are experimenting with.
Like the Cult of Skaro, we need to break out of old ways of thinking, think the unthinkable, and evolve into something else. Bright Ideas on a postcard please.