Regular Irreal readers know that publishing and its travails are an enduring interest of mine. As I've said many times, I like publishers and wish them well but at the same time I recognize that they are making the same tragic mistakes that the music industry did. Unfortunately, they are less well positioned to survive them.
Case in point: TechCrunch has an article claiming that Amazon is purposely killing off rival publishers by giving authors huge advances and very favorable deals with the intention of driving the traditional publishers into bankruptcy. Although it's not well known, Amazon is into publishing in a big way and has several of its own imprints. TechCrunch goes on to say that Amazon enjoys a number of benefits such as inexpensive print-on-demand facilities and, of course, the Kindle installed base.
All-in-all, the TechCrunch article is pretty depressing not only for the publishers but for those of us who think it a good thing for there to be more than one publishing outlet. It is, I think, dangerous to have only one source of published works but that's the direction we're headed in. I hope the traditional publishers can adjust to the times and improve their prospects but I have to say that I am less hopeful than ever.