Had a chat with my cousin who only just found out that my publisher went bankrupt and closed its doors last year. The cousin is concerned about the future of my unpublished novels. She need not be. Death of a publisher is not nearly as lethal as that of a bookseller (though these days even the lack of a bookseller does not mean the end of a book and reading).
We are living in different times from those when my first novel was published. Writers and readers have access to channels and technologies that did not exist only few years ago. An e-book reading device, and an espresso book machine take the place of a traditional publisher. Death of a publisher does not spell the end of a book and reading. The two core pillars are still there: authors and readers. As long as there are writers who write books, and readers who want to read them, books will be with us. Publishers, on the other hand, will be buried, just as George Bernard Shaw wished:
“I object to publishers: the one service they have done me is to teach me to do without them. They combine commercial rascality with artistic touchiness and pettishness, without being either good business men or fine judges of literature. All that is necessary in the production of a book is an author and a bookseller, without the intermediate parasite.” George Bernard Shaw