I've been wondering about the self-publishing route, as this weekend the press (Guardian Money section, for one) has had a few stories of individual success stories. If you can publish directly to Kindle, do you feel like an author? Having readers definitely would bring a warm glow, and if you find that you are earning directly from your work, that would feel good.
But what happened to that warm glow of having your finished book in your hands? And what of the publisher's knowledge of how to gain publicity, and how do literary festivals and radio programmes contact the author if they do not have a publisher's office ready and waiting? I think if I was a prospective author, I'd want both - and so I would have to commit some of those Kindle earnings to having my work put in print.
All in all, very interesting times. And I think that people will be encouraged to write more, not less, now that these new routes to readers, let alone markets, are opening up.