Thinking out loud...
It seems that publishers and authors have a unique opportunity to create ongoing relationships with their readers.
A book is a way to transmit complex ideas and stories. Readers feel an intimate connection with a writer's art and the writer. I feel like I "know" Arthur Conan Doyle, and dozens of other authors.
Publishers and writers have worked to deepen this relationship for hundreds of years. Every successful writer says something like "i spend half my time marketing."
I think the future of publishing lies in nurturing real relationships... not facebook friend relationships, but real relationships. Is it possible that the SMM metric that publishers and authors need to look at is 'meaningful conversations?'