Advanced Book Publishing

Subject PUBL90020 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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:



A result of 70% or higher in 106-473 / PUBL90002 Editorial English, or equivalent academic experience, or equivalent professional experience.



Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed 106-527 Advanced Professional Editing B or PUBL90020 Advanced Book Editing and Publishing are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Ms Bryony Cosgrove


Bryony Cosgrove

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 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. 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.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • 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.

Appraisal of a book proposal (2500 words, 25%) due early semester; book proposal with full costing (2500 words, 25%) due mid-semester; group project: proposal for developing a publishing list (5000 words, 50%) due end of semester. Students must attend at least 80% of classes to be eligible for assessment. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

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:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • have developed 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;
  • have a capacity for effective teamwork through group discussions and collaborative exercises;
  • acquire skills in information technology literacy and understanding of information management through 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.

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

Download PDF version.