As a writer one of the biggest changes brought about by electronic publishing is the speed from signing the contract to being published. It was 4 months for my PNR novella released with Carina Press--and that was with everything Carina had to do to get up and running. That's lightning fast.
And lightning fast means an electronically published novel can tackle current affairs. It's not a case of tea leaves and reading readers' preferences for two years down the track. It's about writing around an issue that will be alive in people's hearts and minds this year.
This means writers can bring their passion about an issue/subject into their novel and it will resonate with their readers. In effect, the writer reclaims the traditional role of storyteller--one who offers a way of understanding a confusing situation. The result is the connection of writers with online self-organising communities. They may even be prime movers in that community.
Fiction allows us to try on other people's lives. The shorter timeframe of electronic publishing means this "trying on" can be part of a broader community engagement with an issue. I think what my tea leaves are showing me is the space for an indie romance niche akin to indie movie festivals.