Since we were round-up-less last week, we weren't able to give our scheduled shout-out to Lit Drift, so I'll do it now: Lit Drift (http://www.litdrift.com), a "brand-spanking new blog, resource, and community dedicated to the art & craft of fiction in the 21st century," is now open for business. They've got all kinds of awesome content, including daily creative prompts and (get this!) FREE BOOKS on Fridays, so be sure to check them out post-haste.
Oh, and before I forget—they also accept reader submissions, so if you'd like to contribute anything (fiction, bar napkin doodles, manifestos, original power ballads to your grandma, &c), send it along!
Now then. As you may recall from last week, I mentioned the price war between Amazon, Walmart, and Target being a source of worry for many of us here in the book publishing industry. Well, on Thursday of last week, the American Booksellers Association drafted a letter to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, asking that the USDOJ investigate these practices to be sure they don't break all sorts of laws. I applaud the ABA's move because I agree that these price moves are predatory, that they are harmful to the market, and that, to quote John Grisham's agent, David Gernert, "If readers come to believe that the value of a new book is $10, publishing as we know it is over."
To be clear: I do not think Walmart will single-handedly kill publishing. But I think that if Walmart economics are applied to the book publishing industry, the speed and the immensity of the changes that will be involved will almost certainly change it for the worse. Nobody's going to bail out the book publishing industry if it starts to founder. E-books will soon totally and permanently alter its landscape, and if we add the financial stress of a major bidding war among Walmart, Amazon, and Target for control of the bestseller marketplace—and remember, gentle readers, that's where the money is made—we could see a drastically different book market in the next five years.