Advanced Book Editing and Publishing

Subject PUBL90020 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 4
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: A result of 70% or higher in 106-473 Editorial English, or equivalent academic experience, or equivalent professional experience.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed 106-527 Advanced Professional Editing B are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: None


Dr Mark Davis


Mark Davis
Subject Overview:

This subject combines analysis of the book publishing industry with intensive exposure to the editorial and business aspects of book publishing. A case-study approach will be used to address the issues involved in selecting and commissioning titles, researching potential markets, building a distinctive list and providing effective commentary on work in progress. The subject will also examine the management of publishing enterprises, including business planning, project costing, production management and quality control, distribution, management of suppliers, the negotiation of contracts, and the sale of subsidiary rights. There will be particular emphasis on the impact of new production technologies and management information systems, and the effects of changes in government policies. On successfully completing this subject, students will have acquired advanced skills in book editing and 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.

  • 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;
  • have developed their capacity for constructive commentary on works in progress;
  • 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 editing and publishing skills in a project-centred, flexible and collaborative environment.
Assessment: 1000 word appraisal of a book proposal 10% (due early semester), textual editing and author response 2000 words 20% (due mid-semester), publishing proposal and budget equivalent to 2000 words 20% (due mid-semester), 2000 word report on book manuscript 20% (due late semester), 3000 word proposal for developing a publishing list 30% (due at end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Recommended Texts:
  • G Davies, Book Commissioning and Acquisition, London Routledge, 2003
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have deeloped 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 editorial practice;
  • have a capacity for effective teamwork through group discussions and collaborative exercises;
  • acquired skills in cultural and ethical understanding through reflection and reading and practical experience of the editor's ethical responsibilities to both authors and readers;
  • acquire skills in information technology literacy and understanding of information management through participation in computer laboratory sessions and completion of exercises and assignments;
  • acquire skills in research, including the use of online as well as print-based materials in the course of exercises and assignments;
  • acquire skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements; and
  • acquire a capacity for critical analysis through engagement and critique of a range of publishing strategies.
Notes: This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Publishing and Communications program.
Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Master of Publishing and Communications

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