Module UXS-3036:

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Eben Muse

Overall aims and purpose

In this module students will develop knowledge of how publishing workflows and the industry have adapted to the innovations that have disrupted the industry so thoroughly that many pundits predict its demise. E-Publishing will be viewed through the prisms of culture and industry to understand the implications of the changes to authors, publishers, designers, readers and society. Students on the module will be better prepared for engaging with the 21st century publishing industry: as independent author, independent publisher, or within an established publishing business. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the nature of electronic publishing and electronically published materials, looking at the range, type and style of e-published materials. They will develop an awareness of issues connected with e-publishing (ie. Textual, creative, cultural and technological issues) and discover how cultural norms and assumptions influence e-publishing choice and readership.

Course content

  • Introduction and a brief history of publishing How technology, law and enterprise shaped the industry and the book
  • The modern publishing system How the professional publishing companies move a MS from author to reader
  • The modern publishing industry There are three major pathways to publication, each of which is controlled by multiple powerful players.
  • Amazon and disrupting the system By solving the distribution and discovery problems, Amazon gained control of the industry
  • Technology and monopoly When Google decided to enhance search by digitizing all the books in the world, it raised concerns over ownership and cultural monopoly. If content is capital, is Google a modern robber baron?
  • Copy-rights, digital-rights, and ownership Copyright law is grounded in 17th century thinking and 21st market capitalism. Digital rights must differ from copy rights.
  • eBook formats The eBook market requires flexible, interchangeable standards like HTML and CSS.
  • The book beyond the book Once we perceive a book as an experience instead of an object, publishing, book-selling and writing become service industries.
  • Discovery is marketing Digital publishing has increased the number of books produced each year at an astronomical rate; a successful author is one who can be found by his or her readers among the mass of available texts.
  • Self-publishing Self-publishing is no longer a question of vanity presses. Individual authors can successfully compete with the major houses now.
  • The future of the book

Assessment Criteria


Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.


Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand and use key terms and terminology relating to electronic publishing and electronically published materials;

  2. Critically analyse the issues (eg. textual, creative, cultural, legal, economical, technological) connected with e-publishing;

  3. Understand and evaluate the standards, practices and technologies that are used in the e-publishing industry;

  4. Evaluate and explain how cultural norms and assumptions influence e-publishing choice, purpose and consumption;

  5. Analyse e-publishing business models and strategies using appropriate business theories.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Reading Forum 50
Research Essay 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 x 2 hour lecture per week

Private study

Weekly readings and contribution to the on-going reading forum. Research into publishing industry.


1 x 1 hour seminar per week


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).


Resource implications for students

All texts are available in the Bangor University Library. However, students are encouraged to purchase the core texts.

Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: