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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

PUBLISHING ADULT FICTION COURSE - study by distance learning

This course focusses on publishing fiction for adults.

  • Learn more about the print and electronic media.
  • A useful qualification for anyone interested in publishing.
  • Study in your own time and at your own pace.
  • Learn from our highly experienced tutors.

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This course focusses on publishing adult fiction.

The term ‘publishing’ conjures images of editors, proofreaders, printers, and the like, but the reality is that the publishing industry encompasses many different occupations and skills.

Publishers might employ any of the following:   Cost accountant, marketing representative, imprint manager, copy editor, production editor, proofreader, indexer, picture researcher, paste-up artist, plant supervisor, telemarketer, bindery supervisor, letterer, layout artist, human resources director, traffic controller, editorial assistant, freelance writer, technical editor, promotion manager, design supervisor, or others.

There are many different types of publishers. Most deal in hard copy or electronic publishing via the internet. Anything printed and disseminated can be described as a publication – a simple flyer or handout, a 500,000-copy-a-month magazine, a scholarly journal, an e-zine, a paper, a book. Anyone who engages in producing any of these documents for circulation might describe themselves as a publisher.

The processes in publishing vary for the type of media being published. A daily newspaper is usually a 12-hour process of intense planning, writing, coordinating and printing. A book is a much longer process.

Learn to Publish newsletters, ezines, books; electronically....and more. 

Lesson 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.


  • 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.


Duration:  100 hours





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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Cheryl McLardyA scientist, teacher, writer and animal scientist, with more than 20 years experience including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has travelled widely, working in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand; and is now based in Scotland. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Higher National Diploma in Horse Management, and a City and Guilds Teaching Certificate.
Tracey Jones (writing)Tracey has enjoyed creative writing since she was a child. She has had several short stories published and a novella. She is also a keen writer of children's stories and poetry. She has also written many academic and non-fiction books in the fields of psychology, sociology, child development, writing and marketing.

Check out our eBooks

English GrammarThe English Grammar ebook can be a great reference for students, people who are learning English and anybody who writes anything- ever. The English Grammar ebook takes grammar back to basics to help confirm correct use of grammar. Topics that are covered within this course include 1/ Introduction- the components of language, 2/ Types of words, 3/ Punctuation, 4/ Upper and lower case, abbreviations, numbers, bullet points and 5/ Using words together.
Professional WritingProfessional writing is any writing that you are being paid for. It can include fiction writing, a best-selling book, articles in a magazine, articles in a newspaper, blogs for companies, technical manuals or procedure manuals, copy for catalogues, newsletters, text books and other academic material and so on.
Creative WritingThe Creative Writing ebook can be useful for writing students or even professional writers to help improve their writing techniques and skills. The Creative Writing ebook is a fabulous starting point for budding writers. The topics that are covered within this book are an introduction to creative writing, Methodology and technique- the building blocks of writing, Genres, Creative non-fiction, creative writing techniques, developing your skill, building your career and a Glossary.