INFS 338

The Craft and Commerce of Book Publishing

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 8, 2006 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course considers books, like universities and libraries, part of "the knowledge industry," and emphasizes the gatekeepers who decide matters of a book's authorship, publishing, and readership. By tracking the evolution of the book pre-Gutenberg to the current e-book environment, we will explore the evolving publishing industry in society. In our exploration of the field of publishing, we will combine readings and discussion with field experiences. You will have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of guest speakers who work in various aspects of the publishing industry.

Learning outcomes


  • Develop an understanding of the impact of technology on current and future publishing practices.
  • Develop the ability to effectively conduct research in publishing, including knowledge of important review publications and skills to conduct research on topics in publishing.
  • Develop the skills to critically examine the economic, social, and intellectual issues surrounding publishing at an advanced level.
  • Have an advanced understanding of the different kinds of publishers and the focus and audience for each area of publishing as well as careers within publishing.
  • Know how to appropriately cite and integrate materials for research purposes using standard MLA or APA formats.
  • Know the evolution and history of the printed word.
  • Know the vocabulary of publishing.
  • Understand issues related to copyright and the public v. private ownership of information across cultures.
  • Understand the "life cycle" of a book.