Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

A College Degree in Self-Publishing !?


Image courtesy of Kati Garner ~

With so much information about self-publishing on the ‘Net one can wonder about the possible benefits of spending money to obtain a college degree in the subject

Of course, much of the information on the ‘Net is suspect

I reveal some of that suspicion in the 104 posts about self-publishing I’ve written, along with what I consider to be valuable information for those pursuing the Indie Path.

Yet, The Guardian has an article about a postgraduate MA in Self-Publishing at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.

It costs £5,000 (about $8,200US)

Here’s the university’s information page about the course.

From that page:

“This course will equip you with all of the necessary skills you will need to be a self-published author including how to edit your book, how to lay it out, how to monitor sales, how to manage yourself and your finances, marketing yourself and your book and how to create an eBook. The final part of the course will give you the opportunity to complete a finished copy of your book.

“The course is taught by industry experts with contributions from successful self-published authors. Students have round the clock access to our bespoke publishing house in the state-of-the-art Media Factory with all the latest equipment and industry-level software such as Creative Cloud, InDesign and Nielsen Bookscan.”

From The Guardian:

“The MA will begin in September, and course leader Debbie Williams believes it will help ‘legitimise’ self-publishing. ‘Things have definitely changed. In the last two years, self-publishing has stopped being a dirty word, and is a legitimate option for authors’, she said. ‘Even the biggest authors are looking at it now.'”

They go on with this commentary:

“Despite the negative light in which self-publishing is viewed by some — Jeffrey Archer recently said ‘it doesn’t work, don’t do it. The only person who reads it is the person who gets it published’, while Sue Grafton has characterised DIY-ers as ‘too lazy to do the hard work’ — the university pointed to research from the books data company Bowker, which found that around 390,000 titles were self-published in the US in 2012, up 59% on 2011 and a massive 422% on 2007. Digital self-publishing also continues to boom, accounting for 40% of self-published titles in the US in 2012, up from just 11% in 2007, according to Bowker.”

The comments to the article in The Guardian range from praise for the initiative to rank skepticism and claims of fleecing aspiring writers

What are Your  thoughts and feelings about college degrees in self-publishing?
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4 responses to “A College Degree in Self-Publishing !?

  1. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen February 12, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Although the idea has a certain charme I strongly suspect that authors might be fleeced. Nobody doubts that there are a lot of different tasks to master before and after a book can be published. A course would shorten the time to learn about self-publishing. But could a course teach anyone how to implement the newly acquired knowledge? Could a course teach how to adapt to the ever changing publishing scene? A degree might, at this stage at least, give an iIllusion of expertise.


    • Alexander M Zoltai February 12, 2014 at 11:28 am


      Your bringing up adapting to the ever changing publishing scene is, to me, a valid consideration.

      There are many people in other fields who leave college and discover their knowledge is not up to speed with the culture; and, publishing may well be the fastest changing thing on the planet


  2. Val February 13, 2014 at 4:04 am

    I think the course will do what the self-publishing companies do – sell ideas to authors, a lot of it will be stuff like how to choose a self-publishing company. They would do better to do a course on setting up a publishing company and how to grow from a soft-start.


    • Alexander M Zoltai February 13, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Well, Val, here are the course “contents”:

      • The Publishing Environment
      • Editing Principles and Practice
      • Self-Employment in Publishing, Writing and Editing
      • Electronic Publishing and the Creation of E-Books
      • The Production Process
      • Marketing for Writers
      • Creative Publishing Project

      Perhaps, some of that might contain what you’ve mentioned?

      Also, many writers don’t want to actually be a “company”—I feel there will always be room for what I call “Publishing-Aid” companies, like FastPencil.


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