Further to my last entry there has been quite a bit of discussion of this issue on the BFS Forum.
Coincidentally, someone posted a link to this article on Shocklines: link
Will the increased popularity of e-books make normal print publishing collapse in the next two years? If so, I doubt this will affect the small independent presses, which already work off much smaller numbers than the mainstream publishers, especially those who largely make use of print-on-demand - which may itself be the next change with mainstream publishers too. Of course this will be one more devastating blow to bookshops as such. The future of book distribution looks more and more as if it will be online.
It's an uncertain future for writers - though it has always been a hazardous profession for those who have wanted to make a living out of it (almost as bad as wanting to be a professional actor!) For those of us to whom writing is more of a hobby, things could in fact become easier with the rise in popularity of e-books and smaller print runs, with probably more independent publishers. Maybe.