This is a transcript of a speech given at this year's London Book Fair:
Over the course of the last few years, it has come to feel that we bookish types are stuck in our very own world war one re-enactment, in trench warfare over where the money lines are drawn. The skirmishes in the global book industry are internecine and unrelenting: the independent authors bombard the traditional publishers; the traditional authors bombard the literary festival directors; the traditional publishers bombard the retailers; academics denounce those who would defend copyright as traitors to the public good; and the retailers take the publishers to courts martial.
Who will taste defeat first? The publishers? The booksellers? The agents? Or, dread thought, might it be the writers? Mounted on my high horse, surveying the clamorous battlefield, I fear it is another regiment which is most in peril.