Media Business Practices (Publishing III) BWR303

Develop Skills for More Success in the Business of Publishing

  • Electronic, Print or Broadcast Media
  • Understand Risk and Opportunity Better
  • Develop Awareness and Contacts within Industry
  • Be Guided by Professionals who have Decades of Experience in Publishing

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. The Publishing Process
    • The launch meeting
    • Copy editing
    • Co-authored volumes
    • Edited volumes
    • Design and cover
    • Proof review
    • Special for edited volumes
    • Front matter
    • Index
    • Printing and binding
    • Printing process
  2. Law and the Media
    • Copyright
    • Defamation
    • Blasphemy
    • Seditious libel
    • Criminal libel
    • Contract law
    • Right to privacy
    • Reporting restrictions
    • Law and the internet
    • Publishing on the web
    • How material is published online
  3. Ethics and Morality
    • Code of conduct
    • Maintaining impartiality and accuracy
    • International federation of journalists
    • Interpreting a code of conduct
    • Censorship in wartime
    • Manipulation of digital images
  4. Production Systems I -from writing to printing
    • Production processes in publishing
    • Terminology
    • Types of editing: baseline editing, medium copy editing, heavy copy editing
    • Developmental editing
    • Production editing
    • Information Design architecture
  5. Production Systems II
    • Producing a newsletter
    • Mapping the process (step by step)
    • Printing -digital printers, offset printers, photocopying, etc
    • Binding
    • Publishing an ezine
    • Web site optimisation
    • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    • Web analytics
    • Publishing a novel
    • Management structures in the publishing industry
    • Production meetings
    • Work roles in the Publishing industry
    • What does an editor do
  6. Layout for Print Media
    • The graphic designer
    • Layout and design
    • Page layout
    • Desk top publishing
    • Software options (eg. QuarkXpress, Adobe in design, Adobe page maker)
    • Image drawing or Illustration
    • Image manipulation
  7. Media AdvertisingAdvertising in the media
    • Positioning, size and colour of advertising
    • Copy writing for advertisements
    • The purpose of advertising
    • Analysis of advertising copy
    • Summary skills
  8. Marketing and Distribution Systems - Print and Electronic Media
    • Magazine articles
    • Marketing a publication
    • Promotion and the launch
    • Distribution
    • The physical distribution
    • Distributing free free publications
    • Subscription selling

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.

Course Duration:  100 hours



  • Understand the important considerations that affect the decision of what to publish.
  • Prepare a plan for developing and producing a new publication.
  • Manage financial requirements for the production of a new publication.
  • Develop procedures for management of staff and other resources in a publishing business, small or large.
  • Demonstrate insight into the different types of potential risks in a publishing business, including legal, financial and health risks.
  • Develop an improved capacity to work effectively with authors
  • Develop procedures for the management of production, and distribution of a publication.



Some of the activities you will be required to do in this course are:

  • Research the kinds and styles of works produced by three different book publishers;
  • List market research strategies that a publisher might use to decide which proposal to develop;
  • Research the percentage of publication given to advertising and graphics in three e-zines or books;
  • List the information that a publisher might want to research before either (i) commissioning a new children’s book (choose the topic), or (ii) starting up a new magazine aimed at 8-12 year old children
  • Investigate the costs involved in cash and/or in resources in producing a particular publication
  • Write up a budget for the publishing of one issue of a local newsletter in two colours
  • Identify factors that contribute the very different retail prices of books and magazines
  • Prepare a draft business plan for a publishing business of your choice.
  • Investigate insurance policies that would be relevant to the publishing industry
  • Define publishers’ responsibility in regards to copyright
  • Explain how a publisher would find a freelance writer and the process for contracting them
  • Briefly explain the importance of a photo library.
  • Track the process of a best seller and collect information on the marketing/advertising/selling process
  • Write different procedures which would be relevant to management of the production and distribution of a new e-zine, new magazine or new industry newsletter.


Explore the Scope and Nature of Non Fiction Writing

Discover the opportunities for publishing in this industry.

Commercial non-fiction refers to non-fiction that has mass market appeal. This includes popular biographies of celebrities and well-known politicians such as former Presidents of the United States of America. Self-help or wellness books are also popular, and they often reflect current cultural trends, and even some picture books. A non-fiction book on the history of porcelain, with its limited appeal, is not commercial non-fiction. It would likely be classified as non-commercial non-fiction or educational or scholarly non-fiction, the author or writing style added elements that could raise it to mass market appeal or give it a literary bent. Literary non-fiction is non-commercial non-fiction that has a literary style to it. These works are works of craft and careful, artistic prose. Many are thematic, and appeal to the same readership as literary fiction.

There are many different types of non-fiction, each of which serves a distinct purpose. The broad “super types” of non-fiction are generally defined as:

  • Expository
  • Argumentative/persuasive
  • Opinion
  • Memoir
  • Instructional
  • Technical
  • News/journalism

Note how each of these categories can be tied to a purpose and/or function. This can be used to help define the target audience, which is helpful when trying to decide if a non-fiction work will be viable for publishing, and the best way to publish and market it.

These “super types” of non-fiction can be further broken down into specific types. Common specific types of non-fiction include:

  • Biography and autobiography
  • Memoir
  • Creative non-fiction work (including some speciality narrative non-fiction)
  • Instructional
  • Essays and essay collections
  • Criticism (music criticism or literary criticism)
  • Collections of letters
    Diaries and journals
  • Textbooks
  • Travelogues
  • Reference books, including encyclopaedias and dictionaries
  • Guides and manuals

Like fiction, all non-fiction works can be categorised according to genre. Genres have specific styles and expectations, though these can change over time. Type is a more general grouping; we can say all DIY guides are instructional texts because of their purpose. However, this does not give us any information about how the text is written, including style, tone, voice, expression, and even the content and shape of the writing. Genre provides a set of expectations that are usually pre-defined, including expected word count, though these can also change over time.

There are many non-fiction genres, though not all are well-suited to self-publishing. Genres which depend on illustrations and photography can be quite costly to self-publish, though some creators opt to do limited, special edition print runs, or use print on demand services to help minimise costs.
Non-fiction genres include:

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Esoteric (religion/ spirituality)
  • Science/Popular science
  • Politics/ Social science
  • Self help
  • Business/Economics
  • Health/Wellness
  • Craft/ Creative
  • Travel guides and travelogues
  • Cooking
  • Gardening/Horticulture
  • Parenting/Childcare/Family
  • Textbooks
  • Modern languages
  • Joke books/humour
  • Art/Design (coffee table illustrated)
  • Biography/Autobiography

Investigative journalism

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Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $834.96  1 x $759.05
B 2 x $451.44  2 x $410.40

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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