Graham Swift said new writers face earning lower royalties for their work as e-books than for traditional hard- and paperbacks.
If aspiring authors see that they are unable to make a living from their work, it may cause them to give up and leave potentially great stories unwritten, he said.
"I wouldn't envy a young aspiring writer now," the Telegraph quoted Mr Swift as telling BBC Radio Four's World at One programme.
"The e-book does seem at the moment to threaten the livelihood of writers, because the way in which writers are paid for their work in the form of e-books is very much up in the air."
"I think the tendency will be that writers will get even less than they get now for their work and sadly that could mean that some potential writers will see that they can't make a living, they will give up and the world would be poorer for the books they might have written, so in that way it is quite a serious prospect," he added.