Speaking with a photographer last week about nimble little houses like Aperture and powerHouse Books—both of them produce unique and insightful photography titles—I realized that most readers expect publishers to break new ground with each publication. Is this possible? Is it even desirable? Yes, publishers are here to present us with new art & literature, distributing it in an durable physical form; but I'm not sure if it's their job to do so before everyone else. We already have magazines, blogs, and (ha ha ha) newspapers to break news for us, so it seems silly to put books to the same task.
I could be wrong.