University of Technology Sydney

57053 Book Publishing and Marketing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Journalism and Writing
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject is offered to students who wish to gain an understanding of production and marketing in the book publishing industry in print and digital forms. The subject examines the stages of the book production process from the acquisition of a title through to its marketing and promotion. The subject shows students how to identify and understand a target audience and the most effective ways to reach it. In this subject the focus is on the literary book publishing industry, though many of the principles discussed could be applied to other forms of text publications such as magazines and textbooks.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Understand the function of production and importance of marketing in publishing
b. Identify, analyse and approximately quantify the target audience/market of a book, devise a strategy that effectively delivers the book from acquisition to the market, and meets the needs of the major stakeholders in the book's success
c. Assess the appropriate design, production and marketing mix for a specific publication(s)
d. Develop a strategic campaign plan for a book title, write a brief for an aspect of a book campaign plan, and investigate its effectiveness
e. Understand how to construct a budget for a marketing campaign and how to maximise the effectiveness of this budget
f. Understand the structure of the publishing industry and the roles and interests of the stakeholders, including retailing in its various forms
g. Identify the challenges facing traditional book publishing and marketing in changing environments

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Critically analyse their work and the work of others, acquiring professional editorial skills (1.2)
  • Understand, reproduce and experiment with genre and form (2.1)
  • Locate and critically evaluate a wide range of sources in literary practice (2.2)
  • Graduates are able to contribute to debates about editing and publishing and engage productively in writers' associations artistically, socially and/or politically (5.1)
  • Convey complex ideas in writing clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences, across a range of media formats (6.1)
  • Explain the importance of drafting and rewriting in the editing and publishing process (6.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

A variety of strategies will be utilised to prepare students for work in the book publishing industry, including: lectures / seminar discussions, class exercises to reinforce theory and learning, and group work to simulate industry practices and activities. Assignments shall develop a logical, plan-oriented approach to production and marketing work, while guest speakers shall introduce experience and knowledge of specific aspects of book publishing and marketing. Introductory and preparatory readings and activities shall be provided, with relevant readings and discussion topics set before each class. Feedback to students’ class work shall be provided from Week 3 onwards.

Content (topics)

This subject explains the principles, structure and functioning of the various elements of the book production process including the basic tools and concepts of marketing and strategic management. It also explains the importance of research, planning, collaboration, and of following measurable processes to achieve desired objectives. Attention is paid to the context of contemporary book publishing (including digital) and the market in Australia, to the concepts of pitching, acquisition, rights (including overseas rights), design, the relationship between publisher and author and the promotion and publicity of books in the industry.


Assessment task 1: Publishing Proposal


a, c and g

Weight: 25%
Length: 1000 words
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of understanding of book industry acquisitions 33 a 2.2
Accuracy of understanding of the steps in the book publishing process, and appropriate response 33 c 1.2
Strength of awareness of planning strategy and marketing at book concept stage 34 g 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Writing a Design Concept


b, c and f

Weight: 30%

2500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of understanding of the nature and role of design and plans and concepts in book production marketing 33 c 5.1
Appropriateness of creation of basic design concept 33 b 1.2
Strength of production of effective creative copy for the design concept and for promotion/publicity use 34 f 2.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Marketing & Publicity Campaign Plan


b, d, e and f

Weight: 45%

2,500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Thoroughness of detail provided in all relevant areas 20 d 6.2
Comprehensiveness of logical, plan-oriented approach 20 b 1.2
Strength of creativity and imagination, as needed 20 d 2.1
Depth of understanding of cores business problems 20 e 5.1
Strength of description of why and how the plan is expected to succeed, including measurement outcomes 20 f 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Students are expected to read the subject outline to ensure they are familiar with the subject requirements. Since class discussion and participation in activities form an integral part of this subject, you are expected to attend, arrive punctually and actively participate in classes. If you experience difficulties meeting this requirement, please contact your lecturer. Students who have a reason for extended absence (e.g., illness) may be required to complete additional work to ensure they achieve the subject objectives.

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for you to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.

Required texts

Most of the set readings for this subject are electronic, and have been posted on UTSOnline.

Books set for Assessment items 2 and 3 will be announced by the lecturer in class.

Recommended texts

Useful background reading:

Between the Lines: Defamation and Censorship by Lynne Spender. Available as an ebook from the Australian Society of Authors website

Copyright Essentials and Writers & Copyright both published by the Australian Copyright Council and available from its website

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg

Under Cover: Adventures in the Art of Editing by Craig Munro


Ereadings examining publishing industry issues and marketing practice are available online.