Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Copout; Question

I know I promised a meaty post today, but I'm still doing a bit of research for the one I want to write, and I also really, really, REALLY have to get some non-blog-related work done today. So in lieu, I'm asking all you smart book people a question.

Q: What is the future of bookselling?

Lots of media and industry types have sounded off on this, but I want to know what you, the folks in the trenches think. We've talked about what ought to happen, but now I want to know how you think it's really going to play out. How will bookselling venues evolve, including chains, superstores like Wal-Mart, independent stores, and the internet? Who will rise and who will fall? Are we headed toward increased corporatization or increased local independence? How are consumers' and readers' tastes changing or remaining constant? How will authors' roles evolve? What will independents need to do to stay viable? What will the next generation of booksellers be like? The next generation of readers? Authors? Publishers?

Tell me what you think in the comments. Be as vague or as specific or as optimistic or as angry as you want. I'll incorporate your thoughts into my next post, which will hopefully happen Friday. I'm sorry to take a day off, but this could be the perfect opportunity to get a broader view of your opinions on where we're all going.