The Twilight and Harry Potter series entertain, and they've led thousands of children to reading, which is a great thing. But I don't think they inform. They reinforce preconceptions rather than alter them. They entertain by not challenging the reader. We want to do something different at black dog. Carole Wilkinson's Dragonkeeper informs the reader of what it is to be like to be nameless and illiterate, without an obvious talent, yet find the strength within herself; Sue Lawson's After (August) will alter a reader's view of being cool. Karen Tayleur's Hostage (October) will illuminate the reader's view on deceit.
The landscape of publishing is changing - the licks are getting bigger. The mid-list is disappearing. The demand on marketing budgets is increasing. The short-term is strengthening over the long term. The independent booksellers are under pressure. Does that leave us with a less diverse, less interesting publishing and literary landscape?
Are we less willing (as retailers and consumers) to support ambitious writing?