In the news recently there have been big name authors that have left legacy publishing (hardbounds and trade paperbacks in general and the Big Six publishers in particular) and focused their efforts completely on releasing eBooks, thus eliminating the middle people (agents and publishers, mostly, while still using editors and/or proofreaders, as needed). On the other hand, one author made it big with her own eBooks and now has a sweet contract with a legacy publisher. The conclusion: the publishing industry is very volatile right now.
However, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of eliminating the middle people or quote any of the above-mentioned persons on why they did what they did. There are plenty of blogs that do this and go beyond to talk about the business of writing in general (WD’s There Are No Rules is one of the best and you can find a list in the yearly WD article about the best blog sites for writers—for the uninitiated, WD is Writer’s Digest). I’m more worried about what will become of our readers. (As a writer, I’m also a prolific reader, so there’s some self-interest involved here.)