Publishing II

Discover the nature and scope of publishing, opportunities for careers and business - learn the basics, lay a foundation for working in the media.

Course Code: BWR202
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Publishing books for adults requires a diverse set of skills, from editing and selecting a cover through to page layout and marketing.

  • Self-publishing is a rapidly growing industry with new avenues for authors across genres.
  • Learn how to calculate costs for publishing print books and ebooks and decide which one is for you.
  • Learn how to take your work from good to great with typesetting, layout, and appropriate designs for binding and publishing.

If you want to work publish a book for adults, start a magazine, or get involved with digital media, this course will help you get started.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. The Publishing Process for Fiction for Adults
    • Stages of the publishing process, from wiring through to publishing the final product
    • Overview of non-fiction genres
    • Overview of fiction genres
    • Defining subgenre
    • Types of story and their word count, including novellas and short stories
    • How word counts vary with genre
    • Graphic novels
    • Defining world building
  2. The Law and Publishing Fiction
    • Copyright
    • Public domain
    • Defamation
    • Criminal libel
    • Author's agents
    • Vanity press vs self-publishing
    • Contract law and types of contract
    • Creative control
    • Scams
  3. Ethics and Morality in Fiction Genres
    • Culture
    • Diversity in fiction
    • Writing diverse characters
    • Sensitivity readers
    • Religious content and niche publishing
    • Content and ratings
    • Censorship
    • Right to privacy
    • Manipulation of digital images
  4. Production Systems I: Costing and Constructing a Book
    • Understanding production costs
    • Costs for website, social media, and software
    • Costing out creative services, including art & design and editorial
    • Printing and distribution costs
    • Self-publishing print
    • Self-publishing ebooks
    • Hybrid publishing
    • Assisted publishing
    • ebook production processes
    • Digital file formats
    • Releasing foreign language editions
  5. Production Systems II: Editing and Perfecting a Book
    • Developing the manuscript
    • Editing the manuscript, including line editing, copy editing, and proofreading
    • Manuscript critiques and beta reading
    • Front matter requirements
    • Back matter requirements
    • Categorisation, sales, and coding, including ISBN, BIC, and BISAC
  6. Layout for Print Media
    • Page layout for books
    • Selecting a font
    • Page setup for working with books
    • Layout for magazines and news sheets
    • Offset printing
    • Binding
    • Graphic designers
  7. Media Advertising for Self-Published Fiction
    • Establishing the market
    • Retail and distribution
    • Print advertising, including reviews, catalogues, and bookmarks
    • Public relations activities
    • Social media presence
  8. Marketing & Distribution Systems and Author Promotion
    • Writer's groups and cross-promotion
    • Print distribution
    • Local author promotions
    • eBook distribution
    • Sales and marketing for self-published authors
    • Book trailers
    • Marketing a publication
    • Using a website for self-promotion

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.


  • Explain the stages and general timeline for self-publishing a fiction book.
  • Discuss different types of genres and how they affect expectations for a fiction book.
  • Discuss word counts and their relationship to genre.
  • Explain the basics of law in relation to self-publishing fiction.
  • Explain the basics of ethics and morality in relation to publishing fiction.
  • Describe the production systems of self-publishing from writing to printing.
  • Discuss layout and design requirements for self-published print media.
  • Discuss ways to sell self-published fiction.
  • Discuss author promotion methods through print and website media.



After a manuscript is submitted the publisher checks the text and references are complete, logs incoming permissions releases, and contacts the author with questions. A "cast-off," is also performed whereby a chapter-by-chapter tally of the manuscript estimates the length and complexity of each of the components (e.g., text, lists, figures, tables, photos, references) that make up the book's interior.

Now the production process begins in earnest. The first step is the launch meeting: The individuals who will be involved in editing, producing, and marketing the book meet to discuss the manuscript, set a schedule for its production, and make formatting and pricing decisions. This meeting gives members of each department the opportunity to learn about the book, ask questions, and outline how production and marketing efforts will proceed.

At the end of the launch meeting, an acquisitions editor formally passes the manuscript to a book production editor who will work closely with the author during the next several months. He or she is responsible for overseeing the book's copy editing and production and keeping the author apprised of deadlines so that the book prints by its projected publication date.


The book production editor begins editing the manuscript online with disks provided after he or she has thoroughly reviewed the hard copy. (It's very important that the hard copy and the copy on disk match.) He or she edits the manuscript for spelling, punctuation, grammar, clarity, consistency, and so forth, making sure to query the author along the way if questions arise.

After the book production editor has finished copy editing, he or she will send the author a hard copy of the manuscript for them to closely review. (Additions will be in boldface, and deletions struck through.) The author is instructed to carefully respond to all queries and suggestions. Because making substantial changes to the text after typesetting is costly, authors and editors should take this opportunity to make all necessary changes.

If more than one author wishes to review the copy edited manuscript, they must coordinate their changes and responses to queries so that all are marked in ink and only one hard copy is returned.

Each lead chapter author will receive a hard copy of his or her chapter to review; in rare cases the lead volume editor will simultaneously review the chapters. Chapter authors and editors should coordinate their changes and answers to queries so that they appear together in ink on one hard copy.

After the author(s) have reviewed the copy edited manuscript, the book production editor incorporates the changes and prepares the electronic files for the typesetter.

Who can benefit from taking this course?

Anyone needing to understand the ethical and legal considerations of writing and creative work. This course also covers morality, censorship, advertising work, and SEO, making it well-suited for entry- through managerial-level in many B2B and B2C industries (such as public relations, advertising, promotional and marketing companies, and small or alternative publishers just starting out).

Those seeking an alternate route to being published will also benefit from the clear mapping of responsibility, hierarchy, and management in the industry, alongside a grounding in legal and ethical issues involved in publishing.

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 deeper understanding of legal and ethical concerns (building on the ideas discussed in Publishing I).

At the end of this course you will:

  • Understand the differences between different types of publishing
  • Understand some of the moral, ethical, and legal considerations and their relation to publishing (including the difference between defamation, seditious libel, and criminal libel)
  • Know what is involved in print media vs. digital media, and have an understanding of some of the software involved
  • Understand some of the marketing and distribution systems involved in publishing

Next steps:

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
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ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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 affairs, and agriculture.
Her current role is Fashion Editor, features writer and features sub-editor with The Gold Coast Bulletin. She has co-authored a successful biography "Roma: From Prison to Paradise" about former prisoner-of-war turned yoga guru, Roma Blair, as well as freelanced as a writer, reviewer and researcher for Australian music and celebrity magazines such as WHO Weekly, Rave, Australasian Post and New Idea.
Rachel has a B.Journalism.

Rosemary Davies

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

Jacinda Cole

Former operations manager for highly reputable Landscape firm, The Chelsea Gardener, before starting her own firm. Jacinda has over 20 years of industry experience in Psychology, Landscaping, Publishing, Writing and Education. Jacinda has a B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA.

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