The University of Central Lancashire is taking the world of self-publishing by storm with its new MA degree in self-publishing. Unlike other programs designed to walk you through the publication of a single manuscript, the new program seeks to “legitimise” the world of self-publishing, giving you a thorough education in the ways of publishing from the indie side.
Indeed, the world of publishing – whether traditional of self-publishing – is overwhelming. There’s an enormous learning curve because publishing a book requires so many different skillsets and specialities that very few people can finish the project all on their own. Whether it’s book editing, cover design, layout, or marketing, successful book publishing requires knowledge and connections beyond what most writers and authors have at their immediate disposal.
To that end, The Guardian reports that the program will, “consist of a mix of lectures, seminars and workshops, featuring expert industry speakers, with modules to include production, marketing and the creation of ebooks. It is not a creative writing course … although the university will help ‘with structural editing’.”
Though the process of self-publishing is complicated, is it worthy of an MA program? Do you really need a two-year advanced degree to self-publish your book?
If you intend to make self-publishing your career, this program – or one like it – could be revolutionary for you. The up-front investment in the knowledge and processes of taking a book from manuscript to published product means that you will be well equipped to tackle the world of solo-publishing. It could well serve as the “seed” that will grow and flourish into a personal publishing business for all of your books.
However, if you’re not willing to invest the years and finances into the knowledge of how to publish your book, you can also explore the world of book shepherding. That is, relying on a team of qualified professionals who specialize in self-publishing to guide your project from manuscript to book.
Their connections and expertise mean that your book will receive the professional treatment of a traditionally published book without navigating the waters of agents, publishing houses, submissions, rejections, and more. You retain creative control with the advantage of insights from industry veterans … all without spending years in a university setting!
Deciding which path is best suited for you and your book, however, is entirely up to you. The financial investment in either of these options – an MA program or a book shepherd – highlights your overall dedication to your book. And, most importantly, both options will result in a professionally produced self-published book that you can be proud of.
However you choose to publish, we wish you the best of luck!