There are some excellent articles coming out with year-end predictions for the changing book publishing landscape.
Personally, I think one of the more important dominos to watch within print publishing will be the Q4 results from Barnes & Noble, especially with their brick & mortar performance. If the combination of high investment in the digital Nook blends with declining performance in the core retail segment for B&N, then expect more store closings, which in turn hurts the sales performance of the top-200 print books from the Big Six. This is very similar to what happened to Kodak within the photo industry (e.g., managing the shift from print dominance and volumes via global multi-access retail to new digital competition and lower margins within the disrupted market space).
If this happens, look for Microsoft to increase its investment in the B&N Nook, especially given its own lacklustre tablet performance versus Samsung, Google, and Apple thus far. (Remember — there is room for two dominant players in any market space; after that, the pickings get tough.) This should also help good indie booksellers regain lost brick-and-mortar market share as they already have the correct (new normal?) amount of physical retail space for the future of print book volumes. The end-game for B&N may well be a spinoff.
This Web site below is an excellent aggregator of news coming from the digital publishing world. I am certain I am wrong so please read what others have to say!
Happy New Year!
Best wishes — Caleb Mason (Publerati)