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Program Description

Just the Facts

Publishing. A program that focuses on the process of managing the creation, publication, and distribution of print and electronic books and other text products and prepares individuals to manage the editorial, technical, and business aspects of publishing operations. Includes instruction in product planning and design, editing, author relations, business and copyright law, publishing industry operations, contracting and purchasing, product marketing, electronic publishing and commerce, history of publishing, and professional standards and ethics.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Publishing students must be ready to integrate traditional and new media because the industry is changing fast these days. It's not just about words on paper anymore -- reading has gone digital! Students must learn about publishing e-books, periodicals, websites, blogs, podcasts, mobile extensions and more.

"We are in the midst of the technological age, and new technologies are impacting all aspects of publishing.

"What has worked in the past is now being challenged and new methods of doing business, from acquiring books to producing a magazine, are being developed and utilized," says Jane Kinney-Denning. She's a publishing professor at PACE University in New York City. It offers a master of science degree in publishing.

Students who want to jump right in can find college programs in publishing. Most of these programs are one or two years and focus on the technical side of publishing.

"Grads have gone on to create and produce their own magazines, doing everything from the business plan, writing, editing, designing, preparing material for printing, attending the press check, creating interactive websites in conjunction with the print product, and promoting/marketing the publication," says Giselle Lemay.

Lemay is the publishing program coordinator at a college. The college offers a two-year diploma program condensed into an intense 12 months.

The competition for publishing program seats varies greatly from program to program. Most applicants to publishing courses have already completed some post-secondary education. Many publishing programs are offered at the graduate level, so you must get an undergraduate degree first.

Some programs focus on the business and theoretical side of the publishing world. Rowly Lorimer is the director of such a program.

"Students leave the program with an understanding of business practice as well as the dramatic changes that technology is bringing to publishing," says Lorimer. Part of publishing is learning how to manufacture and market a product -- and the product is information.

Joyce Meskis says publishing "is the vehicle that carries the history, the present and the future of our society." Meskis is the director of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. It offers a full-time, four-week, graduate-level program for professionals in publishing.

"Publishing is among the most important cultural and business endeavors that an individual can choose for his or her life's work," she says. "It is engaging in the business of ideas, all kinds of ideas for all kinds of interests. That makes it exciting, intellectually stimulating and fulfilling."

Being a lifelong learner is part of the publishing business, especially in the digital age. Students can prepare for publishing programs by learning about computer software, graphic design, web design and writing.

"Fine tuning your writing skills, developing an understanding of the process of producing a published work and meeting deadlines would all give you some good experience that you can carry with you to college and beyond," says Kinney-Denning.

Future publishers should pay attention in English class. Literature, writing and communication skills are essential background to work in the field of publishing.

"Extracurricular activities in journalism, such as working on the school yearbook and newspaper are helpful. The world of publishing encompasses many fields of endeavor and benefits from individuals who are interested and engaged in many different kinds of activities, including, of course, a lot of reading," says Meskis.

Textbooks are an additional cost. Depending on your program, you may need to budget extra for graphics supplies, computer lab fees, software, special events or production expenses.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to Publishing see: Publishing Industries (except Internet)

IPL KidSpace
Check out the Reading Zone

World of Reading
You can read reviews written by other kids and write your own book reviews

"On-Lion" for Kids
New York Public Library offers lots of cool stuff online for kids

Publishers Weekly Online
An industry magazine

"America's oldest journal covering the newspaper industry"


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