Here’s a point of view about publishing trends from the ‘indie’ publishing side. It’s not hard to see the impact on libraries given the potential for massive disaggregation of publishing on a scale that’s enormous.
According to Smashwords founder Mark Coker, here are his predictions for publishing in 2011:
“If 2010 was the year eBooks went mainstream, 2011 will be the year indie eBook authors go mainstream.”
“1.Ebook sales rise, unit consumption surprises – Ebooks sales will approach 20% of trade book revenues on a monthly basis by the end of 2011 in the US, yet the bigger surprise is that ebooks will account for one third or more of unit consumption.”
2. “Agents write the next chapter of the ebook revolution.”
“3. More big authors reluctant to part with digital rights – Indie ebook publishing offers compelling advantages to the author.”
“4. Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors.”
“5. Big 6 publishers increase ebook royalties.”
“6. Ebook prices to fall – It’s all about supply and demand. Demand is surging, but supply will overwhelm demand.”
“7. The customer is king- Readers will decide which books become hits, not publishers.”
“8. International ebook market explodes, causing publishers to rethink territory rights restrictions.”
“9. Discoverability becomes HOT – Amid glut of content, discovery will become the new obsession of publishing.”
“10. Big 6 publishers refuse to abandon DRM.”
Read more here.
You can infer some of the bias in that this is coming from the founder of Smashwords, but the trends seem to imply that some of this will happen if the mainstream trade publishers don’t adapt. I think that in order for some of these options to be successful, authors will need to invest more time and effort in sophisticated promotion of their work(s) in a noisier marketplace.