Advanced Book Publishing

Subject PUBL90020 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours: 2 x 2 hour seminars per week throughout semester.
Total Time Commitment:

340 hours


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:


Dr Mark Davis, Dr Sybil Nolan


Subject Overview:

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.

Learning Outcomes:

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 in the examination period).

Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to passa this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Publishing and Communications
150 Point Master of Publishing and Communications
200 Point Master of Publishing and Communications

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