Via Charlotte Harper I saw this link on Forbes, talking about publishing companies adapting to the new world of easy electronic publishing:
Why are publishers so eager to proclaim their relevance these days? Because they’re facing increased competition for their most important clients: authors.
A decade ago, the only way to have a book published and sold on store shelves was to sell it to a book publisher that would help edit, design and distribute it. Today, anyone who can type and has an internet connection can have her book for sale at the world’s largest bookstore — Amazon — in a matter of hours.
It's one of those annoying 2-page articles to try to push up site-clicks but nonetheless it's worth reading. I can't...help...but get the feeling that the publishers are a little desperate here. Offering ephemera like 'nurturing new talent' and 'build author brands and protect copyrights' instead of more concrete things like 'make sure your text doesn't like like amateur hour' comes across a little petulantly. What does, 'well, WE protect your copyright!' actually mean? Applying DRM doesn't work. Do they scour the hundreds of thousands of junk books on Amazon to ensure no one has plagiarised your work? Seems uneconomical.
Anyway, do read it here to see if you agree with me (of course you agree with me, come now, we're all friends here): http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2012/06/27/what-publishing-companies-do-in-a-world-where-anyone-can-publish-a-book/