For some time the market for writing has been in demonstrable good health in the UK, with a large audience buying a great number of books. From the rise of Waterstones in the 1980s, through the mass-market explosion of the 90s, and more recently the arrival of writing for the web and the ebook with the new self-publishing model, UK readers have been a substantial, various audience with an appetite for books and reading. The hunger has been for writing from around the world, but it is especially well-served by a highly productive community of writers in Britain and Ireland, many of whom are read across the globe. Reading and writing are strong in the UK, not in crisis.
So what does this mean for reading, writing and publishing? It is certainly a dramatic opening chord in a new movement, a movement that will be high tempo and full of development of familiar subjects in new ways.