We heard an interesting panel on different routes to publishing, chaired by Martyn Waites - the concensus was that "traditional publishing is the goal" as Mel Sherratt said. James Oswald described his relief when "Penguin came along and... I was happy to stop doing a lot of the work myself." Self-publishing offers a new route to publication but the worry, as Martin Edwards said, is that "the slush pile is going online." They all described the roller coaster of "emotional pain" of years of rejection. Mari Hannah bemoaned the fact that it costs more to buy a birthday card than a book.
Martyn Waites asked, "When amazon has destroyed publishing, what will be left?" but James Oswald replied that he had been in publishing for twenty years, and "publishing has always been in crisis." So the conclusion was that publishing - and bookshops - will survive.