The general goal of the course is to provide a general view about the world of book and the book industry, with special regards about the main steps that have market the historical event, the aspects of works in the publishing house and the actual technological transformations.
Special attention has been paid to the specificity of the "publishing of culture" in the context of the cultural industry.
At the end of the course, the student will have the foundamental tools to orient oneself critically in the panorama of contemporary book publishing.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Below, some points addressed during the lessons:
- books, readers, publishers in today's Italy: some numbers;
- market trends: best sellers, "supereconomic", ebooks;
- the size of the book: the book as a text, the book as an artifact, the book as a commodity;
- the book before printing and printing before the book industry: the "historicity" of the book;
- Platonic interlude: the Phaedrus and the critique of writing;
- the passage from the scroll to the codex, the story of the manuscript book, from typography to industry;
- birth and development of the book industry: technical innovations, public and editorial "genres";
- the great dichotomy: "instrument books" and "books of various kinds" (and the "book of culture"?);
- orient oneself in the editorial offer: rankings, types, "editorial genres",
- the physiognomy of the publisher and the organization of the catalog: the series (thematic areas, graphic choices, formats, installations);
- the book, the text, the paratext;
- starting from Genette: the material form as the primary paratext;
- is the digital "book" still a book?;
- editorial choices 1: look for ideas to turn into books; themes, authors, editorial styles, recipients, between readings and conversations;
- editorial choices 2.: the reasons for the text, the costs of the book, the commercial possibilities;
- the care of the catalog: spending budget and editorial plans including news, reprints, new editions, series passages; long seller and "slow seller";
- the paperback/paperback/economic: enhancement of the catalog and expansion of the market;
- the publishing contract and copyright;
- the editorial work between series standards and textual specificities;
- the phases of the editorial work from editing to "visa is printed";
- the communication of the book: not only reviews;
- the sales office and promotion: "sell in", "sell out", "yield", sales analysis;
- the book in the bookshop and the "sales channels": hyper production, "product life cycle".

Core Documentation

-Enrico Mistretta; L' editoria. Un'industria dell'artigianato; Il Mulino Bologna, 2006;
-Alberto Cadioli, Giuliano Vigini; Storia dell'editoria italiana dall'Unità ad oggi. Un profilo introduttivo;Editrice Bibliografica, 2012;
-Lodovica Braida; Stampa e cultura in Europa; Laterza Roma-Bari, 2000;
-Gian Arturo Ferrari; Libro; Bollati Boringhieri Torino, 2014; dal capitolo 13 "L'editoria industriale" fino alla fine;
-Guglielmo Cavallo; " Del rotolo, del codice e di altri aspetti della cultura antica e medievale". Articolo scaricabile da Teams.

Type of delivery of the course

Lessons will be in dual mode


Attendance at lessons is not mandatory

Type of evaluation

Oral exam on the texts and topics addressed in class.