Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Publishing And Journalism) VBS001

Start or Manage a Publishing Enterprise

  • Work as a writer, editor or publisher
  • Start your own business or get a job
  • Build the skills needed to work in the publishing industry; develop an awareness of the nature and scope of this industry and start developing your contacts, building networks with industry professionals -critical to career success

CORE UNITS Click on each module for more details

Office Practices
Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.

Business Operations
Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

Develops knowledge of management structures, terminology, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.

Marketing Foundations.
Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling.

Three modules as follows:

Publishing I
There are ten lessons as outlined below:

  1. The Publishing World Nature & scope of publishing, types of publishers, how books are published, market research.
  2. Publishing Procedures & Techniques Colour or black & white; film or digital imaging, types of printing, alternative ways of doing layout (eg. typesetting, paste up, electronic layout with Adobe products or MS publisher), comparing types of digital graphic files, printing costs, etc
  3. Desktop Publishing Word Processing, Alternative publishing methods: Printing on a Computer Printer; Supplying a "Master" to a commercial printer, or 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 and 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

Freelance Writing
The ten lessons cover:

  1. Introduction to freelancing Scope of freelance writing (types of writing, where to begin, styles, etc). getting help, finding resources & contacts, understanding industry terminology.
  2. Basic writing skills What is communication, types of communication, types of language, clear wording, concise wording, parts of speech, grammar, punctuation.
  3. The publishing world Periodicals, books, remaindering, copyright, publishers advertising conditions, public lending rights, contracts, selling.
  4. Manuscripts Types of printing, preparing a type script, etc.
  5. Planning what you write Mechanics of writing, developing an idea, sentence structure, precis, planning what you write, building a paragraph.
  6. Newspaper writing Newspapers, regular columns, fillers, short features, etc.
  7. Magazine writing Travel writing, magazine articles/features, determining potentially marketable articles.
  8. Writing books Non fiction, fiction, short stories, determining what to write and developing an idea.
  9. Writing advertising Writing a press release, writing an advertisement, writing for public relations, etc.
  10. Special project Planning and developing a manuscript for a small book.

Editing I
There are eight lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Editing – the role and scope of editing; tools for editing; editing skills; the production process: an overview; who does what in publishing
  2. The Mechanics of Clear Writing – spelling, punctuation, grammar, language; style; tense
  3. Assessing Manuscripts – readability; word length; structure; consistencies and inaccuracies; the reader’s report; substantive editing; the author’s responsibilities; the author/editor relationship
  4. Copy Editing I – what the copy editor does; the procedure; house style; style sheets.
  5. Copy Editing II – marking up; parts of a publication; editing non-text material; illustrations
  6. Preparing Copy for Printing – type design and page layout; proof stages
  7. Proof Reading
  8. The Final Stages – indexes; blurbs; checking final proofs


The following are examples of the type of thing you will undertake during your studies:

  • Plan and write at several major articles and one short story manuscript.
  • Analyse different articles.
  • Survey the scope and current status of the publishing industry and interpret a range of indicators to the viability of different existing or proposed publications.
  • Explain the publishing industry, the procedures (stages) in bringing a publication to print and the different people (and jobs) involved.
  • Explain how to present a manuscript to a publisher.
  • List the differences between audiences for different types of publications.
  • Explain the differences between types of writing required for newspaper publishing compared with magazine or book.
  • Prepare or select appropriate illustrations (graphic or photographic) for publishing.
  • Explain the processes involved in the production and use of these illustrations.
  • Conduct and report on several interviews.
  • Take a number of photographs with the intention to use them to illustrate a publication.
  • Plan the contents and publishing procedure for different types of articles.
  • Plan the contents and publication of a small book, booklet or magazine.
  • List the scope of statistical information available through government agencies and report on the relevance of such information to the publishing industry.
  • Write copy for different advertisements and different promotional leaflets or brochures.
  • Design the layout for two promotional brochures, and determine the cost of typesetting, paste up and printing each.
  • Compare the scope and nature of business conducted by different publishers.
  • Plan and determine costs for the publication of a new newspaper, newsletter or magazine.
  • Use prescribed reference books and other resources to gain relevant information.


This is the final requirement that you must satisfy before receiving your award.

Here are two options available to you to satisfy this requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you need to undertake a project as follows.


How to Start a Publishing Business

Many new publications are produced every day, every week, every year. Most are the result of careful planning designed to ensure the success of the publication in a very busy and competitive marketplace. Then, the actual process of publishing the manuscript can begin.

To deliver a published work, a publisher needs the following basic elements:

  • an idea – an overarching, unifying concept that conveys or develops the work’s message
  • language – words, sentences, paragraphs etc that present the idea to the reader
  • visuals – illustrations, art, diagrams or charts to support or illustrate some of the points being made and to create visual interest
  • a cover – a physical cover as in a book, a covering page, or a front page that identifies the work, stimulates reader interest in, and anticipation of the content
  • a layout – or transparent organising principle to facilitate reading and increase visual appeal
  • polishing – a sequence of editing and proofreading processes to eliminate errors and dross to produce a finished, refined product
  • sales – marketing and distribution of the product to maximise sales and profits.

It is the publisher’s responsibility to ensure that every element is considered in the planning and development of each publishing project. In most cases, however, it is the editor who actually oversees the document through the entire production process.

While there are many ways to plan a publication, depending on the type of publication, planning usually involves the following steps. Some of these steps may be carried out before an idea has been developed or a manuscript accepted for publication, others, after a project has been decided upon.

1. Researching the market to establish what is needed, who will buy it, and in what price range; usually done to determine which kinds of works will be commissioned or sought out;

2. Deciding on the format most appropriate to the communication of the concept and the publishing house: book format and what kind, magazine, newspaper, periodical, e-zine, CD-rom, newsletter or other. Most publishers work with particular formats, where others produce a wider range of formats, and must consider which is most appropriate for the concept and market. The finer details will be worked out along the way, but the publisher must determine the format at the start of the project;

3. Setting a budget that considers the projected costs of producing and marketing the publication. This costing should include reflect what resources (human, material, energy, time, and money) are needed, and how they are to be obtained and managed.

4. Establishing a time frame, including estimating the time for planning a publication and all the other tasks that will see the project through to completion.

Since cost and time estimates are fundamental to successful project management, and will set the parameters for the project, they will be determined before the production of the manuscript commences.

In general, the production manager or controller is the person responsible for turning the manuscript into a finished, delivered product. Often, the editor, publisher and production controller work as a team to oversee and manage the process. The production controller’s tasks may include costing and budgeting, acquiring necessary material resources like typesetting and human resources such as illustrators, scheduling the publication process and, in conjunction with the editor and market department, establish the publication specifications (size, number of pages, number of copies).

The production cycle for a printed publication is generally composed of the following steps:

  1. Writing or commissioning the document (for commissioned works); accepting a manuscript for publication
  2. Editing and proofreading
  3. Designing the document and preparing artwork 
  4. Typesetting 
  5. Printing
  6. Marketing and distributing the publication.

The publication cycle for an electronic publication is much the same; except that step 6 involves creation of an electronic file instead of a printed item.

In the case of book publishing, it can involve all of the following steps:

Edit manuscript and apply styles

Initiate preparation of artwork and copyright clearance where relevant

Send some manuscripts directly to author and editor for final revision

Design and page the manuscript

Send first proofs to author and editor for correction

Insert artwork

Send second proofs to author and editor for revision

Film the revised proofs

Finalise printing of colour work using ozalids

Print and bind the product

Send advance copies for promotional purposes

Create and send bulk stock to book dealers etc.


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Fee Information (AC)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $4,581.28  1 x $4,164.80
B 2 x $2,473.52  2 x $2,248.65
C 3 x $1,780.68  3 x $1,618.80

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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from anywhere in the world!

All orders processed in Australian dollars.