In his article at Huffington Post by Dan Agin makes the point that the scribes who wrote out books by hand also thought the gig would never end, just like current publishers who keep repeating the mantra that paper books will never die. The biggest thing slowing down the demise of paper books is the prohibitively priced Kindle, but according to Agin, that's a done deal too as Amazon has free software you can download to read ebooks on your PC or laptop. And besides any technology company worth a grain of salt is busy as I speak developing their own form of the Kindle so the prices for the readers are bound to crash soon making them available to most folks.
But Agin warns-It's tragic because when an industry dies because of corporate blindness, people do get hurt. When the automobile put the horse and carriage trade out of business, blacksmiths and carriage makers became irrelevant overnight. But before that happened people were up to their eyeballs in media baloney that the automobile was only a fad.
As writers we need to look at the situation clearly using our business brains. How do we get the best possible position in this new game? Already there are many pluses. To start with- 50% (and sometimes more) royalties on ebooks. Having to pay publicists, for sure, and agents, perhaps, from your slice of the pie may fall away too. As writers we will have much more control over sales. If we have a blog or website, which most of us do, we can set up a bookstore in minutes. There will be no more worrying if your book is shelved cover out or spine out or if it has made it into the storefront window. Blog book tours will be the norm rather than the exception.
It is time to let go and accept the future. For writers, at least from my perspective, things are looking pretty bright.