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Publishing Studies

 

BA Honours Publishing Studies and MA Publishing Studies courses are offered on an attendance basis at Wits. We have no distance option for any of these courses.

Publishing modules may be combined with modules from other departments on consultation with both Heads of Department.

From 2015, the Honours modules will be offered as short courses.

 

International students

Admission into BA Honours is based on a three year undergraduate degree. Admission into the MA course is based on a 4 year undergraduate degree.

You will need to get your degree evaluated by the South African Qualifications Authority SAQA. For information about studying at Wits, and any assistance you require, please check our website http://www.wits.ac.za/internationalstudents You will find an International Student Handbook with checklist and information about all aspects of applying to and studying at Wits.

 

Costs of programmes

Please see Wits website for approximate costs of the degree programmes. http://www.wits.ac.za/postgraduate/11574/postgraduate.html

For an exact cost for your programme, use the Fees Quote Form on http://www.wits.ac.za/prospective/postgraduate/21904/overview_.html

 

Term dates and lecture times

See the Wits website http://www.wits.ac.za/academic/generalinfo/3909/almanac.html

All lectures are scheduled from 4-6 pm to accommodate working students.

 

For BA Honours

Students complete all of these modules. When Selected topic is available it may be substituted for one of the modules.

AFRT4024          The Publishing Environment – 1st semester

AFRT4014          Proofreading and Copy-editing in English – 1st semester

AFRT4021          Sales and Marketing – 1st semester

AFRT4007          Commissioning (Publishing) – 2nd semester

AFRT4011          Publishing Management & Finance – 2nd semester

AFRT4010          Design and Production (not assessed and will not be offered after 2014)

AFRT4026          Selected topic in Publishing - when available

 

For MA

Three of these five modules for students who have not studied Publishing previously:

AFRT7042       Context for Publishing – similar to AFRT4024, The Publishing Environment – 1st semester

AFRT7035          Preparing manuscripts for production – similar to AFRT4014, Proofreading and Copy-editing in English – 1st semester

AFRT7036          Marketing and Sales for Publishing – similar to AFRT4021, Sales and Marketing – 1st semester

AFRT7037          Acquisition, Commissioning and Finance for Publishing – similar to AFRT4007, Commissioning (Publishing) – 2nd semester

AFRT7041       Publishing Management and Finances – similar to AFRT4011, Publishing Management & Finance – 2nd semester

 

Three of these modules for students who have studied Publishing previously:

AFRT7040          Evolving Forms of Publishing – 1st semester

AFRT70XX         Advanced Digital and Multimedia Publishing – 1st semester

AFRT7038          Advanced Copyediting and Manuscript Preparation – 2nd semester

AFRT7039          Selected topic in Publishing for MA Publishing Studies– when available

 

All MA coursework students:

Research report on an approved topic is compulsory for all coursework students.

AFRT7034          Research Report in Publishing Studies for full time students

AFRT7043          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Part 1 for part time students

AFRT7044          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Part 2 for part time students

AFRT7045          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Awaiting Examiners for part time students

 

 

BA Honours Publishing Studies

This may be done as a full time course in 1 year or a part time course over 2 years.

Part-time students will be required to pass all modules of the course and will complete the course as follows:

  • Year 1 Semester 1: Publishing Environment; Copy- editing & proofreading (in English)
  • Year 1 Semester 2: Commissioning; Production & Design
  • Year 2 Semester 1: Sales & Marketing
  • Year 2 Semester 2: Management & Finance

 

You are required to write an entrance test as part of the admission requirements for BA Honours Publishing Studies. Please contact Mrs Merle Govind, 011-717-4140, Merle.Govind@wits.ac.za to arrange to do the test.

 

SEMESTER 1

AFRT4014 - Preparing a book for production and copy editing in English

Lecturer: Isabelle Delvare, freelance managing and copy editor

Lectures – 4 – 6 pm – see timetable

14 x 2 hr lectures + 10-12 hours work per week through the module.

In addition, students will be required to attend one full morning lecture covering on-screen editing.

 

1.  Proofreading practice

At the conclusion of this course you will be able to:

  • identify the various points at which proofreading is required during the manuscript and book production stages
  • identify the different types and levels of proofreading typically needed at various stages of book production
  • read proofs against previous stage to ensure that
    • corrections have been accurately set
    • errors overlooked during the editing process are attended to
    • the text is stylistically consistent
    • typography and layout are consistent
    • word-breaks are appropriate at the various stages.
  • mark alterations to text and layout clearly and accurately, using widely used proofreading marks in the correct colours
  • collate editor's and author's alterations to text and layout, to produce a single set of proofs
  • identify outstanding queries and take appropriate action to resolve them
  • bring unresolved problems to the attention of the appropriate individuals clearly,         concisely and in good time
  • calculate the design implications of alterations
  • ensure that alterations are practicable in terms of all production processes, the budget and the schedule
  • assess a proofreading brief and negotiate any changes necessary
  • communicate effectively with authors, commissioning editors, other copy editors and typesetters if required to do so.

 

Assessment

Assessment in this part of the course will be by means of one (1) individual assignment. This will account for 20% of the total mark for the course. In addition, many exercises will have to be done as preparation for class discussions.

 

2.  Preparing a book for production

At the conclusion of the course you will be able to:

  • copy-edit a variety of texts (e.g. an academic text, fiction, general non-fiction, school textbooks for learners at different levels of schooling, a newsletter, a technical manual, an insert for a pharmaceutical drug)
  • assess a variety of texts to establish editorial parameters, with special emphasis on the logical organisation and the level of text
  • reach informed decisions regarding the relative rights and needs of authors, readers and publishers in different contexts
  • assess an editing brief, negotiate necessary changes and adhere to the final brief
  • draw up an author's queries list that is useful and tactful
  • understand and apply the basic principles of editing for accessibility, especially for readers whose first language is not English
  • understand the function of, and assess, a publisher's House Style
  • understand the function of, and use, a style sheet
  • dissect a range of published books into their component parts in order to grasp and apply standard and economical ways of structuring a book
  • prepare preliminary pages
  • ensure that text conforms to legal requirements and draw up a permissions list
  • mark up text for typesetting
  • copy-edit tables
  • style a bibliography
  • assess an illustrations brief
  • write an illustrations brief
  • check illustrations against text
  • edit illustration annotation
  • ensure that illustrations conform to legal requirements and write acknowledgements list
  • communicate effectively with authors, commissioning editors, copy editors, proofreaders, typesetters, designers and artists
  • begin to edit on screen.

 

Assessment

Assessment in this part of the course will be by means of four assignments. Together, these will account for 80% of the total mark for the course. Two shorter, individual, assignments will account for 40% of the total mark, while the last (long) assignment will account for the final 40%. In addition, a substantial number of exercises will have to be done as preparation, and discussed and assessed in class.

 

Set texts for the course

  • The Editor’s Companion 2nd EditionJanet Mackenzie, Cambridge University Press 2011, 978-1-107-40218-8 – required reading
  • New Hart’s Rules – The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors – Oxford University Press 2005, 978-0-19-861041-0 – required reading

There will also be short, set readings on various topics. These will be handed out during the course.

Other reading – from library

  • Harris, Nicola, Basic Editing: A Practical Course: The Text, Publishing Training Centre/Unesco, London, 1999 (now o/p).
  • Harris, Nicola, Basic Editing: A Practical Course: The Exercises, Publishing Training Centre/Unesco, London, 1999 (now o/p).
  • Butcher, Judith, Copy-Editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors, Publishers and Proofreaders, Fourth Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2006. (copies of this book in the library)
  • Walking on Eggshells – 2007 - G. E. de Villiers, Pan Macmillan SA – recommended reading – may be available from the lecturer

Invaluable reference works – some of these and others available in Wits Library

  • Any good English dictionary, preferably The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
  • Collins Gem Dictionary of Spelling and Word Division, Collins, London. Any fairly recent edition.                                                         
  • The Oxford Manual of Style, BCA/Oxford University Press, 2002. (Incorporates Hart’s Rules.)

AFRT4024 The publishing environment

Lecturer: Colleen Dawson, Publishing Studies coordinator, publishing consultant and science educator and writer

Lectures – 4 – 6 pm – see timetable

12 x 2hr lectures + 10-12 hours work per week of the module

 

It is not enough for students to understand the physical, financial, editing and marketing processes involved in publishing. They also need to understand the historical, social and cultural context.

In this section we look at the main players and the main trends in publishing in South Africa and the world, explore key concepts like intellectual property, digital rights management, we consider the role of the publisher and examine the educational and economic background to publishing in SA, and explore critical ethical, social and cultural issues related to publishing. The student learns where to look up information about the book trade, and how the trade is formally organised.

The role of booksellers and the relationship between publishers and booksellers is included to expand students understanding of the publishing environment. How to work in teams is covered as part of the students’ professional development.

 

Set texts

Updated each year.

A variety of readings will be provided as photocopies or on email.

Useful background reading - Van Rooyen, Basil: Get Your Book Published in 30 (Relatively) Easy Steps, Penguin Books, Johannesburg, 2nd edition 2010

Students are expected to do read widely on the topics we cover in the course and to conduct their own research into particular areas.

 

Assessment

Assessment will be through 1 team and 2 individual assignments, and a course participation/tutorial mark. The team assignment will contribute 20% of the total course mark, participation is 10% of the mark, and the individual assignments 20% and 50% of the total mark respectively.

AFRT4021 - Sales and marketing

Lecturer: Chris Reinders, The African Moon Press

Lectures –4 – 6 pm – see timetable

12 x 2hr lectures + 10 hours work per week of the module

 

Marketing is broadly used to describe the belief that the customer is of prime importance in business, and that success in publishing comes from anticipating the needs of the market. This is very much the principle assumed to underlie this course.

Marketing refers to a range of techniques including not just selling and advertising but also market research, product development, pricing, promotion, merchandising, direct mail, public relations, etc. Selling is and remains a very important part of marketing. In publishing terms, selling tends to refer to the actual work done by sales representatives who call on customers in person or call them by phone. In publishing, “marketing” is often the term used to refer to all sales-related activities not handled specifically by sales representatives.

The course has three themes: Marketing Concepts, Marketing Books in South Africa, and Effective Copywriting.

Marketing is an important subject not only for students who are thinking of following a sales career, but to everyone in publishing. Copywriting has been added because it is usually required of editors to also produce the copy used in publishers' sales materials.

 

Set texts

Baverstock, Alison, How to Market Books, 5th edition 2014 – required reading

Please buy from the campus bookshop before the first lecture

Useful background reading

The Late Age of Print – 2009 hb, 2011 pb - Ted Striphas, Columbia University Press –from Matrix bookshop or university library or on Kindle

There are other useful titles in the library, either on publishing in general with some reference to marketing, or on marketing specifically. In addition students must read articles in the trade and general press.

 

Assessment

Assessment will be by means of

  • One team assignment
  • Two individual assignments
  • In addition there will be other assignments, not for marks, to be handed in.

 

SEMESTER 2

AFRT4007 - Commissioning & costing books

Lecturers: Bridget Impey and Maggie Davey, Jacana Media

Lecture times – 4-6 pm day tba

12 x 2hr lectures + 10-12 hours work per week of the module

 

This module will be run as 2 interacting strands: commissioning & finance for commissioning. A commissioning editor pulls together all the strands of publishing, particularly an understanding of the publishing environment and how marketing takes place within that environment, to form the backdrop for the most important decision a publisher faces: What books to publish. The commissioning editor (sometimes called a publisher) plans ideas for books, and turns ideas into marketable reality. They commission authors to help turn the ideas into reality. Commissioning therefore refers to development of new titles by a deliberate process, as opposed to simply assessing unsolicited manuscripts coming in from authors. Most books are commissioned works, and commissioning is the central and probably the most important activity taking place in a publishing house.

A publisher must also be able to cost and price a book correctly. To do this, he or she must be able to do feasibility studies, cost and price estimates, ratio analysis, etc. and be able to create "What if?" scenarios.

Note: Knowledge of Excel is a prerequisite for this course.

Set text

Davies, Gill, Book Commissioning and Acquisition, Second edition, Routledge. London 2004 Please buy before the first lecture through the campus bookshop.

 

Assessment

Assessment in this course will be by means of two major individual assignments, and several shorter assignments incorporating both commissioning and finance elements.

 

AFRT4011 - Publishing management and finance

Lecturer: Colleen Dawson

Lectures - 4 – 6 pm – see timetable

12 x 2hr lectures + 10-12 hours reading and assignment work per week of the module

 

Management refers to the running or directing of a business. Publishing houses require the same management techniques and skills as any other company. This course concentrates on aspects of management that a new entrant into the publishing industry needs to understand. There is inevitably considerable overlap between this section and others such as commissioning and sales and marketing. In many ways management is all these aspects with a whole-company perspective: where an individual commissioning editor needs to look at the cost implications of one title at a time, a manager needs to look at the implications of the whole list.

A publisher needs to have a firm grasp of the basics of management accounting, and must be able to understand and interpret balance sheets and income statements. He or she must understand the imperatives of profit and cash flow, and understand that as publisher his or her performance will primarily be measured against certain accounting standards. Flowing from profitability calculations on individual titles, the publisher must also be able to do budgets on entire publishing programmes, medium and long-term forecasts and learn to measure actual performance against forecast.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Basics of publishing management
  • People management and labour relations
  • Distribution
  • Editorial organisation and management
  • Financial management in publishing
  • It systems
  • Preparation of a business plan with financial forecasts

 

Set text

Woll, Thomas Publishing for Profit, Chicago Review Press, 4th edition 2010

Please buy from campus bookshop before the first lecture

Other readings to be handed out in class. There are other relevant books available in the library.

 

Assessment

Assessment in this course will be by means of a combination of team and individual assignments which will bring together information from across the entire course and which requires students to put together a business plan, including comprehensive financial information.

 

AFRT4010 - Production and design

This module will be phased out and combined with other modules in 2015.

Lecturers: Kerrie Barlow, Maggie Davey, Jacana Media

Lectures –4 – 6 pm – see timetable

 6 x 2hr lectures, plus a half day visit to a printer

 

Design refers to the planning or drawing (whether on paper or on a computer) of a product before it is manufactured. Book design specifically refers to the general packaging or format of the book, typography and layout. The purpose of design is to make the book attractive to readers and easy to use.

Production in general refers to the making or manufacturing of goods for sale. In a publishing environment production refers to the manufacturing of books, and includes typesetting, proofing, colour repro, paper, print and bind. It deals with not only with manufacturing processes but also obtaining and comparing quotations, scheduling a book production programme, etc.

Design and production are treated here as one unit, although they are sometimes handled by separate people in a company. In many cases a company will have specialised departments dealing with design and production. The purpose of this course is to give the candidate enough of a basic grounding in the subject to enable him or her to:

  • handle basic production work on his or her own
  • have enough of an understanding of the process to enable him or her to brief design and production people, and check that the brief is carried out.

 

Set texts - No set texts, but readings will be assigned. There are a number of relevant books in the Wits library.

Assessment

This course will be assessed through Commissioning module assignments.

 

 

MA Publishing Studies by coursework

There are two MA Publishing Studies by coursework streams. The first is for those students who have not studied Publishing previously. The second is for students who have done an Honours in Publishing Studies.

 

Students who have not studied publishing previously will complete three of these five modules.  Selection will be done in consultation with the Publishing Studies academic coordinator. Detailed descriptions are found above, under BA Honours modules.

AFRT7042     Context for Publishing – similar to AFRT4024, The Publishing Environment – 1st semester

AFRT7035          Preparing manuscripts for production – similar to AFRT4014, Proofreading and Copy-editing in English – 1st semester

AFRT7036          Marketing and Sales for Publishing – similar to AFRT4021, Sales and Marketing – 1st semester

AFRT7037          Acquisition, Commissioning and Finance for Publishing – similar to AFRT4007, Commissioning (Publishing) – 2nd semester

AFRT7041          Publishing Management and Finances – similar to AFRT4011, Publishing Management & Finance – 2nd semester

 

The following modules are for students who have studied Publishing previously, for example the BA Honours Publishing Studies. Students must complete three of the four modules.

 

AFRT7040          Evolving Forms of Publishing – 1st semester

This module is an examination of the nature of technology in publishing, and the social, cultural, legal, economic and political implications of evolving business forms, publication formats and publishing policies of all those who publish. We examine the basis for the study of publishing, book history studies with different approaches to the theories of the creation of text in all its forms. 

The module includes comparisons of copyright and digital rights legislation and practice in South African and internationally.

 

AFRT70XX         Advanced Digital and Multimedia Publishing – 1st semester

More than the other modules, this will focus specifically on digital and multimedia publishing in South Africa and internationally. It will examine markets, types of materials that are published in digital and other formats, and some of the differing production techniques.

 

AFRT7038          Advanced Copyediting and Manuscript Preparation – 2nd semester

This module teaches advanced skills and the theoretical background necessary to work with a complex manuscript provided by an author and prepare it for typesetting for either electronic or paper production. It includes high level language, content and copyediting for specific audiences, proofreading, preparing artwork briefs and preparing briefs for editors, translators and typesetters. Preparing all front and end matter, including imprint and contents page, forewords, glossaries and indices are dealt with. Advanced skills for editing on screen as well as on hard copy will be covered. As well as hands on work with manuscripts, management of the editorial department in a publishing company provides the overview of managing and briefing the people involved at every stage in the process.

 

AFRT7039          Selected topic in Publishing for MA Publishing Studies by coursework – when available

The selected topic would be made up of a series of lectures by publishing experts on their fields of expertise. Content will focus on how local publishing is adapting to international trends, accessing of information on a variety of reading platforms and trends in local publishing including publishing in all official languages.

 

All MA coursework students:

Research report on an approved topic is compulsory for all coursework students.

AFRT7034          Research Report in Publishing Studies for full time students

AFRT7043          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Part 1 for part time students

AFRT7044          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Part 2 for part time students

AFRT7045          Research Report in Publishing Studies – Awaiting Examiners for part time students

 

MA Publishing Studies by research

This is suitable for students who are employed in a publishing company or who have done previous studies in Publishing. Please consult the Publishing Studies Academic coordinator.

 

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