I personally think we're a long way from an e-book only world, but with news of the kindle, Sony reader, and writers like Joe Konrath hyping their kindle adventures, I'd like to know how people would envision this world.
Clearly physical bookstores would no longer exist.
Would there be a need for publishers? If all books were equally placed within e-book stores, what role would publishers play other than simply vetting or putting their stamp of approval on books?
Do people think an e-book only world would be a good thing or bad thing for writers? For readers?
My own take, it would be a disaster for most writers. The e-book stores would be a dumping ground for the 100s of thousands of unpublished books that currently end up in places like iUniverse. With 100s of thousands of books flooding the kindle store and other e-book stores, mostly only books from established bestsellers would be bought, much more so than even today, with the midlist dead. Now independent bookstores handsell and recommend books from lesser known writers that they've discovered, and this gives midlist writers a chance to break out, but how would that happen if these bookstores didn't exist? And how would reviewers pick books to review if publishers no longer existed?? I think reviewers would have no choice but to stick with the recognized names.
Far from the paradise that writers like Joe Konrath are currently paint this, I think if this future did come about it would kill the careers of writers like Joe, myself and anyone else who hadn't already made it to the upper echelon.
Like to hear what other people think.