New! The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books

Being released in August 2012, The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books by Kelvin Smith is a comprehensive guide to book publishing. It explores the publishing process from writer to reader; examining the key roles performed in the editorial, design, production and marketing departments.

  • The Publishing Business provides an excellent introduction to contemporary publishing. It is recommended reading for anyone wanting up-to-date information about roles and responsibilities in this global industry. – Sally Hughes, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
  • A must-read book for all of us who want to keep the publishing business alive. Inspiring, comprehensive, insightful. – Teresa de Andrés, Visual Mag, 2012.
  • ‘…unlike other guides to publishing it’s a visual feast … Although designed primarily for publishing students this is a great book for anyone starting out in publishing to dip into and jargon-bust, from which they will emerge feeling more confident. And with so much gloom and pessimism about our future it’s refreshing to read something both upbeat and measured … It’s great value and you’ll definitely learn from it, however seasoned you are.’ – Rachel Maund, Marketability, 2012.

This is an exciting book for us for two specific reasons. Firstly, it marks the launch of AVA’s new Publishing discipline, and we believe it will become the go-to-text for students of publishing and anyone wishing to work in this field. We did extensive research before commissioning this series as there are a number of other publishing texts out there. However, we realised quickly that there was a big gap when it came to finding a book on publishing that was well-designed, up-to-date and reader-friendly. We hope readers will find that this is the case with our book (see the spreads below to see if you agree). The book has been packed with images, quotes and clear diagrams to illuminate all parts of the book publishing process, so that readers are well prepared to explore their own pathway into the profession. Discussion questions and activities provide thought-provoking material to encourage the reader to investigate the world of publishing for themselves, and to help them to consider how they can forge a successful career by making a unique contribution to this dynamic industry.

Secondly, The Publishing Business also launches AVA’s new Creative Careers series. AVA Academia’s Creative Careers titles are designed to help emerging practitioners bridge the gap between academia and their first job in the creative industries. The many examples of publishing practice included help provide students and entry-level professionals with a practical and accessible introduction to the world of professional publishing.

This is why it’s exciting for us. But why might it be exciting for you?

Publishing is an important economic, cultural and educational force engaging the skills of, and providing employment for, thousands of people internationally. It is a diverse and constantly evolving industry and an appealing career option for many. The opportunities in publishing provided by the rise of new digital formats have opened its doors to a new generation of workers who are alive to the potential  these can offer. If you are interested in working in publishing, take a look at the images below and decide whether this book might help you on this competitive but rewarding and creative career path.


Do you judge books by their covers? Discover what works and what doesn't in the digital age. Is a powerful cover still enough or do you need to consider video material, social network pages or multiplayer games?


Looking at different kinds of publishing - how does marketing the latest trade paperback compare with repackaging a classic chilcren's story?


A close look at the process of commissioning, including creating a brand for a series


Case study on the Horrible Histories series, looking particularly at branding and online presence


Case study on Frankfurt Book Fair


What is involved in marketing, sales and distribution? Can you organise a special promotion or publicity events?


How to choose the appropriate media and format for a book and what the future may hold



Kelvin Smith has an extensive experience of developing innovative postgraduate publishing programmes in higher education institutions in the UK, Africa and Europe. He also provides consultancy on publishing education. His book is available to order from our website for £20 (RRP £26.95).