There is so much information out there about where the future of publishing is headed. Will books go the way of the newspaper? (I mean when was the last time you picked one of those up) Will bookstores become obsolete?
My answer is no. I don't believe that either of things will happen though there is no doubt the industry will change. The real question is will it change for the better?
We've already seen or at least heard about a lot of the cubby hole book stores with the smell of paper heavy in the air going under with the big chains taking over. (Yeah cheaper books) I believe the chain stores will have to adapt to the new market, the E- Market. As in e-books.
This is where I believe things will get tricky for us as authors. It is already difficult to find an agent. You practically have to sell your soul (mmmwwwahhhaaa, devil rubbing his hands together) to get an agent as it is. On top of that most help little once your book is published,unless you are a big money maker, or they believe you will be. (After all they make money off of your hard work) A lot of agents expect you to have a network in place for marketing your book before they will even consider you.
The question is how to build such a network? There is the new traditional way setting up websites, blogging, linking your facebook with twitter. Then you have to market your blog to your audience (You got the sent boy, go get 'em) This is where everything comes to a head.
As most authors/ writers know you must complete your first full length novel before attempting to find and agent or really do anything. They are looking for established writers and those with strong followings (example: I have 5000 followers on my twitter account and another 7000 on my blog. I do not have this many followers on anything.) They believe this will translate into a lot of sales, but I don't believe this alone will be enough.
Indie Publishing is where we are headed. I believe soon it won't just be a query letter the gods have sent down from the heavens to get you published that is needed. It won't just be having a million followers on your blog. It will be have you published a book yourself? What was the reception like? Do you have any fans/followers? This will be what it will take to get an agent in the future, and your book in the bookstares that make it through the future chaos.