We all know that writers must be readers - but are we promoting reading to everyone as a fundamental right, as I believe we ought? Perhaps - these figures seem to indicate a rise in reading.
Perhaps it's just how we read that's changing. Speaking of which, where do you go to buy your fiction, and how does that affect the publishing industry?
And in the current climate, the question we all want the answer to: What books sell? The same as always - well-written, high-concept novels. Though in order to get any book at all written, you need to be a highly effective author. A dash of psychotic persistence doesn't go astray, either.
Confidence, too, is absolutely, 100% necessary, but don't cross the line to arrogance. Or delusion. That's not good either :D
And always remember - if it were easy, we wouldn't be doing it :)