Students gain a comprehensive view of the industry through the program’s required foundational courses. These courses include Introduction to Book Publishing, Book Editing, Book Design Software, Book Marketing, The Business of Book Publishing, and Intellectual Property and Copyright. Students in the graduate program in Book Publishing are required to take five of these six courses, for a total of 20 credits. One of these five courses must be Introduction to Book Publishing. All required courses are also open to students in other programs, including undergraduate students.
Introduction to Book Publishing (WR 460/560)
Provides a detailed overview of the publishing process, organized around the division of labor, including introductions to contemporary American publishing, issues of intellectual commerce, copyright law, publishing contracts, book editing, book design and production, book marketing and distribution, and bookselling. Based on work in mock publishing companies, students prepare portfolios of written documents (e.g. book proposals, editorial guidelines, design and production standards, and marketing plans). Guest speakers from the publishing industry and field trips provide exposure to the industry.
Book Editing (WR 461/561)
Comprehensive course in professional book editing, including editorial management, acquisitions editing, substantive/developmental editing, and copyediting. Issues specific to both fiction and nonfiction books will be covered.
Book Design Software (WR 462/562)
Provides a strong base in the software used in the book publishing industry, focusing on Adobe InDesign. This class also explores Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat, as well as XHTML and e-book design. The course considers audience expectations through a range of hands-on design projects.
Book Marketing (WR 463/563)
Comprehensive course in professional book marketing. Issues specific to the marketing of fiction and nonfiction books in a variety of genres and markets will be covered. Students will do market research, produce marketing plans, write press releases, write advertising copy, and develop related marketing materials.
Business of Book Publishing (WR 464/564)
Comprehensive course in the business of book publishing. Topics covered include publications management, accounting, book production, distribution, and bookselling. Students learn how a variety of agents, including publishers, publishing services companies, distributors, wholesalers, bookstores, etc., are organized and function in the marketplace.
Intellectual Property and Copyright (WR 465/565)
Outlines the opportunities and pitfalls faced by the writer (or editor, graphic designer, or artist) in the legal and ethical spheres, including copyright law, U.S. First Amendment law, defamation, right of privacy, trademark, and trade secret law. This course will also discuss the importance of the Internet in rethinking many copyright and intellectual property rules.