Three Cheers for the Book - The History of Book Advertising from Gutenberg to the Present Day
Original title: La claque del libro – Storia della pubblicità del libro da Gutenberg ai giorni nostri
- 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights
NON-FICTION | CULTURAL HISTORY
The splendour and misery of literary advertising: what’s behind the scenes of a successful book?
Once outside the printer’s womb, the book finds itself in the terrifying jungle that is the market: rival editors, armies of competitors, sniper critics, malicious influencers. And worst of all, its mortal enemy: the indifference of the world. In the face of such danger, the publisher tries to support some of these newborns with teams of promoters, press offices, and advertising agents.
La claque del libro reconstructs the history of literary promotion over the centuries.
Beginning with Peter Shöffer, Gutenberg’s collaborator who, in 1469, first had the idea to print a sheet listing nineteen titles and stick it to walls. The fundamental stages of book marketing are illustrated by interweaving them with the history of advertising. From Shöffer to Renaudot, the first trade theorist. From Parmentier to Diderot, tireless promoter of the Encyclopédie. The golden age of posters, from Chéret to Depero. Case-histories of sensational launches are reconstructed, such as Fantomas, the most surprising example of the marketing for serialised books in the early twentieth century, and other outstanding titles such as Gone with the Wind and The Little Prince. Stories of great writers such as Twain, Hemingway and Steinbeck that lent themselves perfectly to publicity.
A journey through great successes and spectacular flops, right up to a view of the book in the time of social media: followers, influencers, likes, emoji, all the incense and poisons of the network. From overblown promotional methods that promise great success every time, to the remarkable case of Rupi Kaur, astute queen of social poetry.
The history of the book as a fascinating tale of the splendour and misery of the publishing world: an unmissable addition to any book lover’s library.
Ambrogio Borsani lives in Milan, where he worked as a creative director at Doyle Dane Bernbach and other international advertising agencies. He founded and ran the book history magazine “Wuz”. His work as a writer includes novels and travel books set on tropical islands and are all published by Neri Pozza: Addio Eden, Tropico dei sogni, Stranieri a Samoa (Chatwin Prize), and on Italian islands: Avventure di piccole terre. His many books for children have been translated into various languages. He has taught communication at University of Naples “L’Orientale”, at Università degli Studi of Milan and at Brera Academy.