The Global Publishing Marketplace: Creating Audiences (EASM177)

StaffDr D-M Withers - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Co-requisitesEASM175, EASM176, EASM177
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Through a series of lectures, assigned readings, seminars and practical workshops, this module will build a critical understanding of, alongside practical skills needed for, the contemporary publishing industry. Through the process of creating a marketing plan then working to co-produce creative marketing interventions (including a live literature event), you will develop skills in project management, copywriting, digital asset creation, and literary production. You will also have the opportunity to critically examine and understand the relationship between books and social media, the role of literary festivals and international book fairs, and the challenges of digital and physical promotion and distribution. Through a consistently theoretically and empirically grounded approach, the module as a whole asks crucial questions about the interconnections between marketing strategies and systemic structural inequalities in terms of representation in the context of both producers and consumers of literary texts. With a particular emphasis on the role of technology, networks and innovation, this module has been designed to develop fundamental expertise in understanding markets and building new audiences for books and writing.  

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate critical insight into modes of building audiences for and communities around books and writing.
  • 2. Recognise publishing as a dynamic and evolving industry and the impact of this on marketing and sales.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse the strategies, inequalities, strengths and weaknesses of specific publishing initiatives in the global publishing marketplace.
  • 4. Explain the interelationality between various commercial, technological and aesthetic factors in marketing and building audiences for books.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Understand the dynamics of project management within the context of publishing as a creative industry.
  • 6. Formulate, evaluate and produce new marketing and promotion campaigns.
  • 7. Demonstrate independent thinking and communication skills.
  • 8. Recognise the challenges and opportunities associated with reaching diverse audiences through strategic communications.

Syllabus plan

Although the module’s content might vary from year to year, it will balance practical publishing interventions, critical analysis, and readings on structures and histories that inform the marketing, promotion rights, sales and distribution environment of contemporary publishing.  Indicative content:

  • Understanding Markets & Engaging with Consumers
  • Reaching Diverse Audiences
  • Creating a Marketing Plan
  • Live Literature Events
  • Writing Effective Copy
  • Literary Media & Platforms
  • Press & Publicity
  • Literary Networks & Strategic Alliances
  • Building Creative Sales & Distribution Strategies
  • Migrating Texts & Developing International Audiences

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled teaching and learning33Seminars, Workshops & Lectures
Guided independent study20Study group meetings and preparation
Guided independent study88Seminar reading and preparation
Guided independent study159Research & assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Marketing Copy or Asset500 words1-2,6-8Tutorial follow-up
London Book Fair Objectives250 words1-4, 7Tutorial follow-up

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay303000 words 1-4, 8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.
Marketing Portfolio & Critical Reflection604500 words 1-8Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.
Module Participation10Participation in group and seminar activities1-8Oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-4, 8Referral / Deferral period
Marketing Portfolio & Critical ReflectionMarketing Portfolio & Critical Reflection1-8Referral / Deferral period
Module ParticipationRepeat Study/Mitigation1-8N/A

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment. 

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%. 

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative secondary sources:

  • Baverstock, Alison and Susannah Bowen. How to Market Books. 6th edition. (2019)
  • Burton, Dawn. “Towards a Critical Multicultural Marketing Theory.” Marketing Theory, vol. 2, no. 2, June 2002, pp. 207–236. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/147059310222004.
  • Brouillette, Sarah. Literature and the Creative Economy (2017).
  • Christian, Aymar Jean, et al. “Platforming Intersectionality: Networked Solidarity and the Limits of Corporate Social Media.” Social Media & Society, vol. 6, no. 3, July 2020. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/2056305120933301.
  • Hall, Frania. The Business of Digital Publishing (2013)
  • Murray, Simone. Digital Literary Sphere: Reading, Writing, and Selling Books in the Internet Era (2018)
  • Saha, Anamik. Race and the Cultural Industries (2017)
  • Saha, Anamik and Sandra van Lente, Rethinking Diversity in Publishing (2020)
  • Sobande, Francesca. The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (2020)
  • Squires, Claire. Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain (2009)
  • Thompson, John B. Book Wars: The Digital Revolution in Publishing (2021)
  • Weber, Millicent. Literary Festivals and Contemporary Book Culture (2018)
  • Wiles, Ellen. Live Literature: The Experience and Cultural Value of Literary Performance Events from Salons to Festivals (2021)

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Key words search

Publishing, Marketing, Distribution, Audiences