THE BOOK TRADE AND THE INTERNET REVOLUTION: SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THE FUTURE* FRANCIS BENNETT Recent months in the book trade have witnessed an unprecedented level of change as we appear to have embarked on a transformation of the trade as we know it, one of those defining moments when everything changes. It is at a time such as this that many fundamental questions arise. What is happening? What does it mean? What will the future be like? These are questions many publishers and booksellers are posing and wrestling with currently. With all the usual reservations about the relevance of analysis and conclusions, what follows is an attempt to examine what is happening and to draw some conclusions about the future. An attempt will also be made to relate these events and conclusions to Welsh publishing and bookselling, to ascertain whether there are any significant pointers or lessons to be learned. The analysis must start with current events the changes in the landscape. Here are a few of the most significant changes that have occurred in the last twelve months in the book trade in the *A paper delivered at Aberystwyth in November 1998 as part of a series of events for the publishing and printing industry in Wales under the Imprint (Mercator- Mosaic) programme funded by the EU Leader project.