Today the The New York Times carries the announcement of Constellation a new venture aimed at independent publishers by Perseus Books Group. Perseus, through Constellation, are offering to negotiate rates to give independents access to electronic readers, digital book search and POD at costs similar to those advantaged to the big boys. They already have Google, Amazon, Sony and Barnes and Noble (Search Inside) on board as willing to offer packages that the little people simply couldn't get on their own.
And this is where I predict the heart of the electronic revolution will be. It's all about new writing. Yes, people may some day prefer to have their copy of Pride and Prejudice on their Ipod, but I don't think that day is here yet. (Mind you, not having to lug around War and Peace would have its advantages.)
But no, with print publishing becoming ever more restricted - dare I say hidebound? - and with rising costs for both promotion and publication - the market for new, exciting, break through authors is going to move more and more into the electronic world.
The independents in question in this case may already be print publishers, but it will be in the electronic world they have the biggest opportunity to make a virtual splash.