They’ll be a direct link from author to publisher/bookseller. Nothing in between.
As Amazon exec Russell Grandinetti told the New York Times, “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.”
Risk, because if a writer can reach readers without going through a publishera publisher which employs editors, copyeditors, production workers, and morewhy is the writer going to bother with an editor?
Opportunity, because books still need editors. (Sorry, all you people who think you’re fantastic writers, you still need editors. Sorry, all you famous people who think you’re too famous for an editor, you still need editors.) Books can still benefit from a careful copyedit and these services that these professionals provide is still valuable.
Soon, however, publishers may not be the ones paying for them. So, authors: How are you going to finance a good editor? Editors, how will you be marketing your services? That’s the question for the ages.