Always interesting - 2blowhards.com: Guest Posting - Publishing in Britain
I do not think publishing it that different here (in the USA). Much like with the movies and even more so music, the amount of money one can make with a blockbuster or lose without one, makes it difficult to publish books by unknown authors, for small audiences, or on unpopular subjects.
I used to hope that Internet will be able to solve some of these problems, particularly making it easier for authors to publish, but changed my mind a few years ago. What is needed is not just the ability for anyone interested to publish a book, but a method for getting book information to those who might be interested in it. Blogs do a good job - if a book gets a good review in NYT and is mentioned by a blogger I respect, it has a good chance of ending up on my wishlist, or shopping basket. As tools for blog aggregation and information extraction improve, and reasonable e-books become available (thus driving publishing cost down), I hope that promise will come closer to reality.