Publishing I

Learn how books, blogs, magazines, newsletters, and more are published. This course provides an excellent start for anyone considering self publishing or seeking employment in publishing.

Course CodeBWR107
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Publishing involves the creation, compilation, and mass reproduction of text and graphic images.

Publishing is a fast-moving business. Changes in technology, access to books, and a vibrant self-publishing industry have created new opportunities for small, independent presses and debut authors. In this course, you'll learn about the role of the publisher across a variety of modes and genres, how to get your own publication moving, and how to create a publication of your very own.

Excellent for people starting a publishing business or who want to tranistion into working in the publishing industry. 

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. The Publishing World
    • What is publishing?
    • The publishing world
    • The publisher
    • Production manager
    • Editor
    • Designer
    • Marketing staff
    • Set tasks
    • Assignment
  2. Publishing Procedures and Techniques
    • Overview of the publishing process
    • The Production schedule
    • Page design
    • Page layout –consistency, variety, simplicity, direction, white/blank space, headings, graphics, balance/propagation, contrast, etc.
    • Establishing the skeleton of a document
    • Pull quotes and side bars
    • Typography –fonts, other settings
    • Public Lending Rights
    • Set task
    • Assignment
  3. Desktop Publishing
    • Word Processing
    • Alternative publishing methods
    • Printing on a Computer Printer
    • Supplying a "Master" to a commercial printer
    • Publishing electronically (eg. Internet or CD)
  4. Desktop Publishing
    • Software options
    • Use of colour
    • Black and white
    • Use of graphics,
    • Putting it together, etc.
  5. Illustration: Graphics
    • Line illustrations
    • Cartoons, photos etc.
    • Freehand work
    • Computer graphics, etc.
  6. Illustration: Photography
    • Photographic Equipment & Materials
    • Composition
    • Development of Photographic Style
    • Portraiture
    • Posing for Photographs
    • Planning a Photo Session
    • Studio Photography
    • Fault Finding, etc.
  7. Researching
    • Types of Research (Exploratory, Experimental etc)
    • Primary & Secondary Data sources,
    • Planning a survey,
    • Conducting an interview.
  8. Marketing in Publishing
    • Understanding marketing & publicity
    • What makes a publication succeed or fail,
    • Launches
    • Press releases, etc.
  9. Publishing: Ethics & The Law
    • Public attitudes
    • Accuracy of writing
    • Bias
    • Monopolies
    • Media ownership concerns, etc.
  10. Publishing Project
    • Here you will actually publish something.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Define the scope and nature of publishing today.
  • Describe some of the processes that are commonly used to perform work tasks in the publishing industry.
  • Identify a viable process to follow for desktop publishing of a small publication for printing on paper.
  • Identify a viable process to follow for desktop publishing of a small publication in an electronic format (eg. E book or web site).
  • Evaluate different types of illustration for ease and relevance for use in different publishing situations.
  • Determine photography appropriate for inclusion in a publication.
  • Determine research required appropriate to the needs of a publication.
  • Determine a marketing strategy appropriate to the needs of a publication.
  • Identify the impact of legal and ethical issues on a publisher.
  • Plan the production and marketing of a publication.

Scope of Publishing

The term ‘publishing’ conjures images of editors, proofreaders, printers, and the like, but the reality is that the publishing industry encompasses many different occupations and skills. Publishers might employ any of the following:

Cost accountant, marketing representative, imprint manager, copy editor, production editor, proofreader, indexer, picture researcher, paste-up artist, plant supervisor, telemarketer, bindery supervisor, letterer, layout artist, human resources director, traffic controller, editorial assistant, freelance writer, technical editor, promotion manager, design supervisor…

There are many different types of publishers. Most deal in hard copy or electronic publishing via the Web. Anything printed and disseminated can be described as a publication – a simple flyer or handout, a 500,000-copy-a-month magazine, a scholarly journal, an e-zine, a paper, a book. Anyone who engages in producing any of these documents for circulation might describe themselves as a publisher.

The processes in publishing vary for the type of media being published. A daily newspaper is usually a 12-hour process of intense planning, writing, coordinating and printing. A book is a much longer process. A web site or brochure may not be as long as a book, but will most certainly be longer than a newspaper.


Publishing is a fast paced and constantly evolving business. New technology is introduced constantly, changing the processes and products used in the industry at an extraordinary rate. There are many facets to the publishing industry and the terminology used varies accordingly; a project editor for example at a book publisher may be called the managing editor at a magazine or web site. The most important issue, however, is that the client and the publisher interprets the client’s instructions correctly and that they are implemented in the way the client would expect.

Following is a description of the production process for a non-fiction book. Newspaper or magazine publishers would use a slightly different process.

1. The Development Stage

The editor works with the writer in developing a concept into a manuscript. This may include writing a proposal, and sometimes also an outline followed by several drafts. At this stage the manuscript will include specified photographs and artwork. For complex subject matter an expert (for the particular subject) or technical editor may also be involved. Co-authors, and a design artist may also be involved at this stage.

2. Manuscript Preparation and Design

With the advent of modern technology authors now submit manuscripts on disk. A typesetter is therefore no longer required to re-type the manuscript. This means that there should fewer typing mistakes; however it is still the function of the copy editor to ensure that errors are not overlooked.

The manuscript is prepared for production by several editors under the direction of the production editor or a copy editor in a newspaper. The production editor works to ensure that production costs are kept down by eliminating as many problems as possible at this stage as later in the process changes to text and graphics becomes very costly.

The work is checked for accuracy and consistency in style as it is passed on to each editor (see following section ‘The Editing Process’). Modern publishers, using the latest technology, speed up the editing process by performing this function on screen. The designer works in collaboration with the production or technical editor and bases the design of the manuscript on art specifications and small parts of the manuscript that best represent the whole. The manuscript is coded for typesetting or formatting by the designer before being passed on to the production team.

3. Production

Once the manuscript has been planned, the production editor ensures that the plans introduced at the design and preparation stage are correctly implemented. Now that the document has been formatted for production the proof reader checks it against the manuscript to ensure accuracy and adds any corrections required. The corrections are made by the relevant person i.e. the typesetter, illustrator or printer. Several proof readers may be used to ensure accuracy at each stage.

Much of the work needed to create bibliographies, contents pages, formatting and indexing, is now done with specialised software. This can help to speed up the production process. At the completion of this process the manuscript is ready to print.


• Reputation: well-known and respected in publishing and writing

  The school runs a successful publishing business, the principal has been

  editor of national magazines; many of the staff are published authors)

• Industry focus: courses designed to suit industry needs and expectations

• Different focus: develop problem solving skills that make you stand out from others

• Hands on: develop practical as well as theoretical skills

• Lots of help: dedicated and knowledgeable tutors.

• Efficient: prompt responses to your questions

• Reliable: established in 1979, independent school with a solid history

• Up to date: courses under constant review

• Resources:  huge wealth of constantly developing intellectual property

• Value: courses compare very favourably on a cost per study hour basis

• Student amenities: online student room, bookshop, ebooks, social networking, acs garden online resources.


Who can benefit from taking this course?

Writers or newly signed writers wanting a grounding in how publish looking to better understand market opportunities and how publishing works.

Writers seeking alternate routes of publication, or people who want to learn the principles of book production and design.

Public relations staff needing insights into the industry to better serve the promotional needs of clients.

Editors wanting to improve their knowledge of publishing and the general market to better reach potential clientele, or offer new services to their clients, including a general understanding of legal and ethical concerns.

Anyone who wants a better understanding of today's publishing landscape and how to break in, from bloggers and early career writers to curious readers.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Understand the differences between a publisher, an editor, and other publishing house staff
  • Understand the general process of how publishing works
  • Know how to develop an appropriate layout and design if you choose to take an alternate publishing route
  • Understand some of the legal and ethical considerations involved in publishing


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John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa
Rosemary Davies

Businesswoman, Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher, Consultant for over 30 years.
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