Publishing Adult Fiction (Publishing II) BWR202

Study Publishing at Home

If you want to publish fiction book for adults this course will help you get started. 

Publishing II discusses issues relating to books and fiction for adults, the production process, and how to plan out costs and promotions. The various assignments and set tasks will help you get started on your own self-publishing journey. Suitable for print and digital media.

Course Content and Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

1. The Publishing Process for Fiction for Adults 

  • Stages of the publishing process, from writing 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. Law and 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 and Distribution Systems and Author Promotion

  • Writers’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.

 Lesson Aims:  

  • 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.

Course Duration:
100 hours of self paced study



Traditional publishing is team work. It relies on the expertise of many different members of staff.
In self-publishing, it is slightly different. It may be one person involved in the process – the author themselves probably.  The largest time drain is finalising the manuscript. This is a five-stage process comprised of writing, followed by editing and polishing.

Stage 1: Writing
The first stage in the publishing process is writing the manuscript. This is simply where the author writes material and gets it into a mostly publishable form, ready for editing.

Stage 2: Editing
Once the manuscript is finished, it needs a fresh set of eyes. Even though some authors also work as editors, a manuscript should be edited by another professional. Authors are generally too close to their own work to see gaps and flaws. Moreover, editing your own work means that you’re more likely to miss typos and grammatical errors because you are so used to reading your manuscript that they no longer stand out. 
Editing may be a multistage process, depending on the needs of the manuscript. The stages of editing include:

  • Developmental editing (usually during the writing phase)
  • Line editing
  • Copy editing
  • Proofreading

All manuscripts should have a copy edit and proofread. 
The amount of time editing takes depends on how much editing is needed and the manuscript length. Generally, developmental editing will take 2 weeks for a short manuscript and 2 months for manuscripts of 80,000 to 100,000 words. Copyediting will usually take 3-4 weeks for manuscripts ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 words. Proofreading will take a similar amount of time.
If you engage a copyeditor who offers proofreading services, you will likely be looking at around a 6 to 8 week turnaround.
If you do not have the resources to pay for a professional editor, put your manuscript away for a few days. Then come back to it with fresh eyes and edit it meticulously. Another tip is to read your manuscript out loud. This can also help mistakes to become more obvious.  A precise friend or colleague may also be willing to read and edit it for you.  

Stage 3: Design
A book’s design has both internal and external elements. The external design work includes:

  • Front cover 
  • Back cover
  • Spine 
  • Trim size (size of the book, page edges)
  • The internal design work includes:
  • General page layout, including margins, headers, footers, and gutter
  • Specialty page layout, e.g. index pages, front matter, back matter
  • Typesetting
  • Chapter headings and other headings
  • Illustrations and their arrangement, captioning etc.

There are standard elements in both types of design that must remain consistent, especially if you intend to self-publish printed copies of your book.
If you hire a service, this process will likely take 4 to 8 weeks. It is generally a good idea to engage a proofreader here, especially if you have not used one earlier; a proofread at this stage will generally take 1 to 2 weeks.
Note that cover designs are separate to the rest of the design process, and may take much longer. The timeline for cover designs will depend on the type and complexity of the cover you want. Print covers may take 4 weeks, or longer for illustrations. Ebook covers may be quicker. If you are hiring an illustrator for other work, the illustrations may take longer again. It is best to negotiate directly with the illustrator. Some vanity publishers or publishers for eBooks may offer templates for covers that the author can tweak and personalize.  
Note that you can also do this side of the work yourself, and move at your own pace. However, while this means you can work as quickly as you like, it is generally a good idea to leave some time in between working on different design elements to ensure you make good decisions with fresh eyes, and that you always get outside opinions.

Stage 4: Metadata
This is the information that tells readers and booksellers about your book. It includes standard information such as:

  • Author name and bio
  • Book title
  • Year of publication
  • Short description
  • ISBN (international standard book number)
  • BISAC code (a code that identifies what your book is about, generally used by retailers)

Some of this information is quick and easy – you likely already have an author name and bio, and you know which year your book will be published in. An ISBN usually takes around 5 business days to process. Deciding on the appropriate BISAC codes may also be a time- consuming process.
If you are registering copyright, the process may take anywhere from 1-3 weeks.

Stage 5: Publishing
Publishing is the final stage in the self-publishing process. If you are publishing in an e-format, this final step is quick – check the file for any errors, ensure it meets the standard of the platform you are uploading to (e.g. for your distributor or retailer), and follow the upload steps. 
If you are printing your book, you will need to check the file with the printer, then ask for proofs to check the print standard. This may take a few days. Depending on the proof quality, you may go back and forth with your printer negotiating on your product. The time involved in your final print run will depend on:

  • The size of your print run
  • How many other orders the printer has
  • If you are paying for express service (rarely worth the extra cost) 


Enrol Now!

Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $878.90  1 x $799.00
B 2 x $475.20  2 x $432.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
More information about
Fees & Payment Plans.

Enrol Now 5% discount!
Select a payment plan:

Courses can be started anytime
from anywhere in the world!

All orders processed in Australian dollars.