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Master in Publishing and Editing

Program curriculum and final degree

Program Curriculum

Master in Publishing and Editing


  • Introduction to the publishing sector: books in business and culture.
  • Breakdown of a publishing company.
  • The path of manuscript or commissioned book and the overall publishing process: from author to reader.

Copyright, negotiating and contracting

  1. Contracting and purchasing rights.
    • Legal framework and copyright.
    • Intellectual property law.
    • Negotiating royalties.
    • Purchasing rights: criteria and strategies.
    • Publishing contracts: wording and function.
    • Subsidiary rights (paperbacks, translations, clubs, e-books, online, cinema adaptations, etcetera) and range of copyright operations.
  2. Agents and the sale of rights.
    • Literary agencies: mere intermediaries or full promoters?
    • The agency as a company: business operation and policies.
    • The agent: advisor, manager, salesperson.
    • Agency agreements.
    • Publishing contracts and copyright.
    • Selling rights: negotiation and strategies.
    • Cultural differences in negotiation.
    • Contracting rights and the market.

Editorial lines, selection and programming criteria

  1. Criteria for the creation of an editorial line.
    • Projects and collections.
    • The concept of niche.
  2. Information sources for books on sale.
    • Publishers' newsletters, book fairs, catalogues, professional magazines.
    • Scouts.
    • Selecting titles.
    • Publishing business and profitability: book commissioning, the best-seller.
  3. What and how does a publisher read, and how?
    • Criteria and practices for the pre-selection and reading of original texts, reading scout reports, management unrequested originals.
    • The professional reader and reading reports: from literary to commercial evaluation.
    • Professional reading applied to the parameters of a text.
  4. Publishing lines:
    • Literary publishing, children's books, essay, scientific and technical.
    • Facsimiles and collector's editions.
    • Encyclopaedias.
    • Newsstand publishing: collectables.
    • Instant books.
  5. Formats.
    • Hard back.
    • Soft back.
    • Paper back.
    • Large format.
  6. Translations.
    • The translator as author: relations with the publishing house.
  7. Programming titles for the season.
    • Setting the publishing time-table: criteria and contingencies.

Information management

  • Computer management systems in publishing information.
  • Information flow to customers.
  • Internal flow of information.
  • Uses of the internet (B2B, B2C).

The market

  • The importance of Spanish as a market: Spain, South Cone, Mexico, Andean Pact, USA. Brazil?
  • Cultural differences.
  • Prospects and scenarios for the future.
  • Who is offering what and from where?
  • Main economic flow (from who to whom).
  • Global publishing market in Spanish.
  • The three large publishing areas: trade, academic and reference.
  • International presence of independent publishing houses.
  • International presence of media groups and leading publishing houses in Latin America.
  • Structure of Latin American market.
  • Are Spanish books sold in Latin America expensive? Cost analysis of a book.
  • Exchange rate.
  • Currency Market.
  • Methods of payment.


  1. Publishing manuscripts: from the author's manuscript on paper or digital format to the printed book.
    • Editing criteria.
    • Editing: definition and techniques.
    • Orthotypography.
    • Composition of text.
    • Printers' proofs. First and second proofs, galley proofs, page proofs.
    • Proofreading techniques.
    • Writing back covers and flaps: selling the text.
  2. Typography.
    • Bibliological and typographical terminology.
    • Typographical design.
    • Fonts: typefaces and sizes.
    • Measuring sizes. Typometry.
    • Layout. Proportions. Pagination.
  3. Graphic design.
    • Books as aesthetic objects.
    • Collection design and brand image.
    • The cover.
    • Layout.
    • Computer-assisted graphic design. QuarkXPress or In-Design programs.
    • Outsourcing the editorial process: external trades (reading, proofreading, production, layout and other free-lance tasks).
    • Desktop publishing.
  4. Production.
    • The production process.
    • Book structure and material. 'Anatomy of the book': paper, colour chart, signatures, leaves, cover.
    • Production costs calculation.
    • Pricing. Invoicing.
    • The post of production manager.
  5. Printing, binding and handling techniques.
    • Traditional printing (plates and films).
    • Digital printing.
    • Calculating paper. Print runs, wasted and flawed.
    • Binding and finishing.
  6. New publishing technologies.
    • Multimedia publishing.
    • E-publishing. Books and digital technology: PDF files, scripting languages (SGML, DTD, HTML, XML), print on demand, computer to plate, digital rights management. Google and publishing.
    • New platforms: audiobooks (CD, MP3/iPod), CDROM, Rocket eBook, PDA,Microsoft Reader, iLiad by iRex, Sony Reader and Amazon kindle.
    • Internet and publishing. Digital format, different devices: mobile phones, virtual projection, e-ink books.
    • Audiovisual technology for publishing communication and information.

Distribution and marketing

  1. Distribution.
    • Publishers and distributors.
    • Logistical questions and procedures.
  2. Distribution channels: bookstores, newsstands, supermarkets and hypermarkets, post, credit, book clubs, door-to-door sales, special editions (special offers for media and institutions).
  3. Replacements and returns.
    • Reprints: distributors and booksellers.
    • Book rotation.
  4. Costs.
    • Sales settlements.
    • Invoicing.
  5. Stocks and storage.
    • Remaindered books.
    • Logistics.
  6. Editorial Marketing: operation and strategies.
    • Choosing an entry strategy and marketing plan: the relationship between publisher, marketing team and commercial department when launching new publications.
    • Operating account.
    • Controlled flow versus worldwide launches.
    • The danger of the dumping effect.
    • Pricing policies.
    • Means of accessing international markets.
    • Advertising.

The economic function of the publishing company. Basic finance

  • Financial situations. Balance and income statement.
  • Viability plans and budgets.
  • Statement analysis. Ideal statement structure and asset analysis ratios: solvency, debt and capitalization.
  • Income statement analysis: income, regular and variable expenditure, results and effects on book prices. Capacity to generate cash-flow.
  • Analysis of profitability, self-finance or profitability growth.


  • The figure of the press officer and communications director.
  • Advertising and commercial and communication strategies.
  • The concept of synergy and editorial relations with the media.
  • Promotion strategies: from jacket band and displays to presentations and press conferences.
  • Reviews, the media and the publishing sector.
  • Publisher-supplement director-critic relations.
  • The treatment of a book in the media: maximum space or better review?
  • Pre-publication and the Sunday colour supplement.

Bsm Inside

This module deals with three key skills that future professionals need in order to achieve success in any area, and to quickly and efficiently respond to the constant challenges that emerge in business. The subjects coincide with UPF Barcelona School of Management's key identifying features: analytical capacity, communication and social purpose.

  1. Evidence-based management: This subject brings us closer to professional decision making through prudent, clear and precise data analysis. Real life, relevant examples give students an opportunity to discover the manifold opportunities that big data can provide to different professional sectors.
  2. Storytelling: In this subject we develop the functions and mechanisms of audiovisual narrative (storytelling) and we apply them to professional communication. We tackle issues such as how to create communications that make an impact (on a personal, project and corporate level) as well as interpersonal communication and team motivation. The goal is to help professionals transmit any idea successfully, with creativity and energy.
  3. Ethics and sustainability: Professionals in all sectors have to deal with issues relating to ethics and sustainability throughout their working lives. In this subject, we focus on identifying, analysing and effectively responding to these questions.

Note: Depending on the circumstances, the programme may change due to the agendas of the various professionals delivering sessions.

The programme will include a special session on e-ink technology and eBooks.

Master in Publishing and Editing has a library specialising in the publishing sector and book industry at the UPF Barcelona School of Management Documentation Centre.

Upon due identification, participants may have access to UPF Barcelona School of Management computer rooms in order to complement their work and practice the programs used on the course.



  • The Master program includes three compulsory workshops within the normal timetable. 
  • Practical workshop on the anatomy of the book, on its structure and materials, in which practical exercises and sample analyses will take place.
  • Practical workshop on creating a publishing business.
  • Practical workshop on the running of literary agencies.

Moreover, the Master’s Degree also makes three other workshops available to the students, outside the normal timetable:

  • Practical workshop on Typographic and orthographic correction. 2 ECTS
  • Practical workshop on QuarkXPress or InDesign: 2 ECTS
  • Practical workshop on finance for non-financial participants. 2 ECTS

Total optional workshops: 6 ECTS

Despite being a basic training complement, attendance in this case is not compulsory, and will require a minimum of 15 participants for the sessions to take place.


During the program participants must produce an individual project which will be a virtual practice of the publishing process. Participants must have this project approved in order to obtain the diploma. In the event of a first time failure, there will be a one off examination re-sit for which participants will be required to pay the corresponding official fee.

Field trips

The Master's program includes three compulsory guided visits to the Cayfosa printing company.

In all cases, these field trips will take place outside the regular schedule in order to adapt to the timetables of the companies.

The Master is conducted in Spanish and Catalan. Some sessions may be given in English.

Final Degree

Upon successfully completing the program, students will receive a Master's Degree in Publishing, awarded by Pompeu Fabra University. Class attendance, passing the corresponding tests and submission of set assignments are essential in order to obtain the qualification.