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This subject introduces students to the processes by which book publishers evaluate proposals and build their lists. Through seminars and hands-on workshops, students are introduced to the business and management aspects of book publishing that underpin list-building, and to the processes involved in selecting and commissioning titles, researching potential markets, building a distinctive list, choosing formats (print and digital), and providing effective commentary on work in progress. The subject also examines the management of publishing enterprises, including project costing, production management and quality control, distribution, management of suppliers, the negotiation of contracts, and the sale of subsidiary rights. On successfully completing this subject, students will have acquired advanced skills in manuscript appraisal, a detailed knowledge of the characteristics of a successful book publishing list, and a wide-ranging understanding of financial and management systems in the publishing industry.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- have developed a knowledge of the structure of the markets for published books and the broad strategies involved in building a list;
- be familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the major parties involved in the manuscript acquisition process;
- understand the contractual basis of publishing and the management of subsidiary rights;
- have developed an analytical and critical understanding of contemporary publishing management practice; and
- have developed their publishing production skills in a project-centred, flexible and collaborative environment.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:
- high-level written and oral communication skills through contribution to class discussions, the completion of exercises and assignments, wide reading on issues of contemporary publishing processes, and exposure to the protocols of industry practice;
- a capacity for effective teamwork through group discussions and collaborative exercises;
- skills in information technology literacy and understanding of information management through completion of exercises and assignments;
- skills in research, including the use of online as well as print-based materials in the course of exercises and assignments;
- skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements; and
- a capacity for critical analysis through engagement and critique of a range of publishing strategies.
Last updated: 2 December 2019