Publishing Perspectives brings us this thorough review by Kevin Di Camillo of a documentary about the state of the (trade) publishing industry. It’ll cost you $35 (plus sales tax) to buy it. Here is the trailer, which together with the review probably tells you enough.
In a comment following the review, Sandy Thatcher makes the point I keep stressing — there’s more than one kind of publishing, and this film (naturally, ‘cos that’s what the public sees when it thinks of “publishing”) focusses only on the trade publishing business. It needs always to be emphasized that the situation in academic, professional, college etc.etc. publishing is entirely different. I’m not so sure that the digital surge doesn’t represent a wonderful opportunity for academic publishing, to the same extent that it’s probably a death-knell for trade publishing. Reaching niche markets is so much easier nowadays — and with some academic and reference books we used almost to feel we could list all of the potential buyers by name before we committed the book to print. E-books and Print-on-demand pretty much take the gamble out of academic publishing.