03 February 2014
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched an MA in self-publishing to equip budding writers and novelists with the skills they need to become the next E.L. James – the self-published author of 50 Shades of Grey.
The course, which is the first of its kind in the UK, is a one stop-shop providing a real toolkit for students wishing to learn all the skills they need to succeed as a self-published author including handling their own finances and sales, digital eBook publishing options, how to market themselves and their work, self-editing and production, layout and design. It will also equip students to form a support network which sustains them throughout their writing career.
Self-publishing is becoming increasingly common in the literary world and reached world-wide attention with the publication of 50 Shades of Grey which went on to become a feature of best-seller lists around the world.
“Self-publishing is becoming a global phenomenon and we are proud at UCLan to be able to offer the UK’s first degree in this exciting area."
Recent research by the book data company Bowker suggests that some 390,000 titles were self-published in the US in 2013 – an increase of 59 percent on 2011.
The opportunities provided by electronic publishing, greater awareness of the publishing industry, together with the expense associated with working with traditional publishing companies have all contributed to this rise.
Course Leader Debbie Williams, of UCLan Publishing, said: “Self-publishing is becoming a global phenomenon and we are proud at UCLan to be able to offer the UK’s first degree in this exciting area."
"Everyone has a book in them – and many of us have a manuscript sitting in the drawer, unsure what to do with it. Our new MA will help guide these individuals through the process to help them realise the dream of seeing their book in print.”
“New technology is obviously contributing to the astonishing growth in this area – but so too is the exorbitant charges being levied by some traditional publishing houses who can charge aspiring writers as much as £15,000 to work with them.
“Everyone has a book in them – and many of us have a manuscript sitting in the drawer, unsure what to do with it. Think of all the literary treasures that have never had the chance to see the light of day because their authors were put off by the traditional publishing model. Our new MA will help guide these individuals through the process to help them realise the dream of seeing their book in print.”
UCLan is the former university of self-published phenomenon Kerry Wilkinson who studied journalism. Kerry's bestselling Jessica Daniel series made him Amazon UK's top-selling author for the final quarter of 2011, and he has since sold more than 650,000 books through both traditional publishing and continued self-publishing.