Interesting, more than a little disturbing article in TIME Feb. 2nd (The commemorative inaugural issue) about the future of publishing, by Lev Grossman, "Books Unbound - The forces of a new century are shaping a new kind of literature. It's fast, cheap and out of control." Describes the story behind four self-published novel that made it big, and goes on to talk about increasingly cheaper forms of publishing, including "Keitai Shosetsu" in Japan, novels written and read on cell phones includes 4 out of 5 of Japan's 2007 best sellers!
The trend essentially is increasing acceptance of "user-generated content," with examples including YouTube and Wikipedia, and fan fiction sites which now includes unpaid amateur editing "B-readers." The author concludes: "None of this is good or bad; it just is. The books of the fiture may not meet all the conventional criteria for literary value that we have today, or any of them." That sounds pretty bad to me.