It may not be the sexiest part of the ever-changing technology story, but the disruption of traditional publishing by e-books and digital distribution via the Internet and e-readers is certainly one of the most interesting, once you pay attention to the details. A new film promises to clue us in to those details via interviews with some of the industry's leaders.
Directed by Vivienne Roumani, Out of Print is a documentary that features interviews with Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, famed science fiction author Ray Bradbury, John Perry Barlow, the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many others. Adding to the gravitas of the production is Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, who serves as the film's narrator.
Although we've only seen the trailer, based on a few looks at the film's general narrative, it appears that Out of Print is more about telling the story of how we got to the current state of affairs rather than taking any particular side. For the uninitiated, one of the biggest drivers of the e-book revolution are authors engaged in self-publishing through services like Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Lulu and others. The digital self-publishing trend has gathered so much steam in recent months that even Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author David Mamet recently decided to give it a shot.
Cinematic distribution for documentary is limited, but a schedule of screenings is updated regularly. In the meantime, you can check out the film's trailer below.