And despite all this, legacy publishers don't realize a revolution is afoot.
I think they're aware of it, but in an abstract way. I talk to a lot of people in the business, and when most of them talk about digital and the changes it's causing in the industry, you can tell they're imagining a future that's safely abstract and far off. Something you acknowledge in conversation, of course—you're not in denial, after all—but that fundamentally feels to you like theory. Because you're still having your Tuesday morning editorial meetings, right? And you just launched a new title that made the New York Times list, right? And signed that hot new author, right?
Sure, there are rumblings in the provinces, but at court in Versailles, the food is still delicious and the courtiers still accord deference appropriate to your rank. When you live at the palace at Versailles, the rumblings in the provinces always sound far away. Right up until the peasants are dragging you out of your bed in the middle of the night and setting fire to your throne.
Barry Eisler, Joe Konrath: Ebooks and Self-Publishing: A Conversation Between Authors
Painting: Madame Adelaide, Louis XVI's Aunt (1787) by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard