The book publishing business really does seem to be going through the same process that the recording industry went through not so long ago. That is, it's crying about all the doom and gloom. Layoffs are rampant, and there are all sorts of concerns about how the industry is going to survive. Yet, as with the music business, if you step back and look around, you realize the actual book business is thriving. Jason Pinter has written up a post pointing out that this is, perhaps, the most exciting time, ever, for book lovers. That's because a lot more people are talking about and reading books, and there are all sorts of exciting developments in the book world (and, also, he notes, in the movie business based on books). These sorts of things are important to remember. As we've seen in the music business: more music is being made and enjoyed than any time before, and more musicians are able to make money from their music than at any time in history. Yes, some of the big companies in those industries are going through painful transition periods, but if you take a step back and look at the actual market, things are quite exciting and healthy.
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