In case you missed it, make sure you check out the text of Jason Epstein’s keynote on the future of publishing in the digital world, as presented at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC) conference.
In it he lays out a great case for human nature, and how it will save us from the undifferentiated content streaming through the WWW.
Also he articulates his vision for good content (authors must eat), e-readers (yes), large publishing houses (will die), print-on-demand (Gutenberg x 10), and lots of other stuff.
If you don’t know who Epstein is, he has worked in the publishing industry for fifty years as an editor and a publisher, and is responsible for many innovations. He created Anchor Books at Doubleday, which was the first Trade Paperback imprint, and he is the co-founder of On Demand Books, which markets the Espresso Book Machine, which can print and bind a 320 page book on demand in about 4 minutes.
Ten years ago he did a series of lectures on the publishing industry at the New York Public Library which became Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future. I highly recommend it.