Course Descriptions

Required Courses

GPP 7000 Introduction to Digital Publishing and Content Development
This course will introduce students to the quickly evolving world of digital publishing. It will begin by exploring the concept of content. For example, what is content – is it a book, a video, a tweet, an image? Students will then focus on how content is disseminated across multiple digital platforms to reach specific target audiences whether via an ebook, a social media platform, an educational website, or an interactive site (enhanced ebook, etc.). Students will gain a historical perspective from looking at digital publishing’s short history and then look at present day case studies to develop ideas about what the future may bring. Requirement: Students are required to have use of a smart device such as a smart phone or tablet.


GPP 7200 Book Publishing Overview
This course offers a broad overview of the publishing industry, from its origins in the 15th century to the very latest trends and key indicators. In completing this course, students will acquire a foundational understanding of the industry’s major sectors and categories; the roles of relationships between a range of publishing professionals; and key business processes and practices, practical knowledge of which is essential for further, more specialized study, for example, in courses such as Developmental Editing, Acquisitions Editing, or Publishing Law.


GPP 7227 Publishing Law
Writers, editors, agents, and publishing professionals face legal issues such as copyrights, contracts, commercial, privacy and libel law as well as First Amendment questions involving freedom of speech/press and censorship. This course is designed not only to inform the students of the basic legal concepts involved but also to become competent to critically examine these matters as they arise and competently resolve them.


GPP 7345 Design Studio I
This course is an introduction to the electronic tools necessary to function in the graphic design field. Industry standard software will be taught to create page layouts that incorporate scanning and illustration. Emphasis will be placed on work created as well as the mechanics of software. Students will be capable of understanding the uses as well as the mechanics of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe InDesign. Students will be given a test which consists of recreating a layout that will utilize all the functions of each piece of software taught so students will be sure to have a full understanding before moving on to the next software.

Courses By Concentration

Business of Publishing

GPP 7020  Marketing Books & Magazines: Traditional & Contemporary Approaches

Marketing is not what it used to be – today there are numerous platforms, both traditional and new that marketers must utilize to best position their product, whether a physical book, an eBook, a magazine, or an eZine. This class will examine both traditional approaches to marketing both the book and the magazine, such as developing an audience, and combine those methods with more contemporary approaches such as social media, viral marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, and other innovative ways using the internet to communicate effectively with customers.

Please see course description under the Editorial Concentration.
GPP 7220 Magazine Publishing

A consideration of the strategies and game plans at work in the mass magazine marketplace today. Drawing on examples from print, electronic, cyberspace, and traditional media, the course will detail the issues, theories, techniques, and financial realities that determine the success or failure of magazines.

GPP 7227 Publishing Law

Writers, editors, agents, and publishing professionals face legal issues such as copyrights, contracts, commercial, privacy and libel law as well as First Amendment questions involving freedom of speech/press and censorship. This course is designed not only to inform the students of the basic legal concepts involved and to provide a competency to critically examine these matters as they arise and practically resolve them.

GPP 7260 Maintain and Operate a Small Publishing Company
This course will give students hands-on experience in running a small publishing company. Through the course, students will follow the stages of publishing a book from acquisition, editorial, layout design, promotion, marketing, and distribution. Students will actually publish a book that will sell on Amazon. Students will establish a “break-even” or better budget. Prerequisite: GPP 7200 Publishing Overview or the consent of the Program Director.
Limit 8 students.
GPP 7270 Business Publishing

This course will examine how publishing companies make money. Students will examine the daily financial, procedural, acquisition, etc. decisions publishers make on a daily basis. Students will study industry successes and failures to better understand how and why publishing companies succeed.

GPP 7215 Marketing Children’s Books

Please see the course description under the Children’s & YA Concentration.

What is a brand? Is it a product, a logo, a brochure? Can a person be a brand? With the popularity and widespread use of social media, branding has become easier and yet more complicated. In this class, students will focus on using various social media platforms to effectively build a personal brand to better understand the components of branding and how publishers, authors, and others use social media to promote their brand with the aim to develop a larger network and gain media exposure.

GPP 7305 Digital Video & Viral Marketing               
This course will comprise an overview of the growing importance of digital video in marketing, with a focus on its use on websites and in social media. The basics of video production such as concept development, storyboarding, interviewing techniques, branding, and audience targeting will be covered. In addition, there will be some basic training in editing and post-production on Adobe Premier, as well as a review of key Adobe software commonly used in video production. The course will culminate with the presentations of original marketing videos created by each student.

For the Master’s in Leadership and Master’s of Business Administration courses listed below, please consult the specific program pages for course descriptions.

MSL 6600 Leadership Fundamentals
MSL 6610 Information Systems & Strategies
MBA 6620 Decision Making Methods
MBA 6666 Financial Principles and Policies
MBA 6653 Economics of the Workplace

Children’s & YA Publishing

GPP 7203 Children’s Book Design & Illustration
In Children’s books, the images and text must work together seamlessly to tell the whole story. In this class, students will develop a historical and artistic understanding of the illustrated book – how images enhance the story in terms of pacing, page-turning, anticipation, etc. Students will also learn more technical skills such as what it takes to succeed in the children’s book market, how to develop a character model sheet, and how to prepare a book worthy dummy.

GPP 7204 publishing children's picture books
Picture books are often a child’s first introduction to reading and books. Despite the increase in ebook sales, because it is primarily a visual, auditory, and tactile experience, children’s picture books are still mostly sold as print books and are mostly sold via bookstores. Through this class, students will look through two specific lenses: the quality of the literature and the subsequent publishing side: editorial, marketing, and distribution of this segment of the industry. Students will read a wide selection of current tiles, classics, and relevant articles as they explore where this segment has been, where it is trending, and ultimately where it is headed. Students will also look at the digital options and how these options can best be integrated into this successful segment. It is highly recommended that students have access to a tablet.

GPP 7214 Library & School Publishing               
The library and school markets have shifted and changed over the years. The current market is not only looking to drive and improve literacy, but to involve the common core standards in virtually all books purchased and used in the classroom and/or libraries. In the is class, students will learn how children learn to read, the concepts behind the common core, leveling, Hi/Lo readers, supplemental materials, as well as what content, themes, etc. are deemed both acceptable and necessary by this market.

GPP 7215 Promoting Children’s Books
This course will introduce students to the role of marketing within the children’s book publishing house. Students will learn the principles of successful marketing strategies – both print and online – as well as the fundamentals of product development, branding, and advertising across multiple channels in trade and school & library markets. Students will study the latest trends in children’s publishing along with successful marketing campaigns.

GPP 7218 Exploring the Middle Grade Novel
As young adult fiction tackles more and more edgy and difficult topics and readers become more and more sophisticated, there is a greater need to ensure that appropriate topics are available to the middle grade reader (ages 8-12). In this class, students will explore the range of middle grade fiction, compare it to lower young adult, and discuss the decisions that necessary to determine in which category titles belong. Students will also look at writing styles, authors, themes, topics, content, etc. to better understand this segment of the children’s industry.

GPP 7235 Contemporary Literature & Publishing for Children
In this course, we will survey past and present American literature for children and adolescents. We will study the various genres of children's books and learn about various trends in publishing books for children and teens. Students should be prepared to read a large number of children's books over the course of the semester.

GPP 7237 YA Genre Study
As the YA (young adult) market grows, it continues to push at the historical boundaries by exploring controversial and edgy topics such as divorce, ethnicity, gender roles, suicide, and much more. It is also comprised of action-adventure, fantasy, historical, mystery, sci-fi, and speculative fiction. As a result, this has made it difficult to define YA fiction. This class, through exploration of many YA titles, will seek to define YA fiction. Is it a genre or sub genre? Are there different levels of YA fiction, or should there be? And why do adults love some YA titles and not others? Students will lead this industry discussion by developing a set of standards and criteria to define the genre through class discussions and projects.
CRW 7450 Writing for Young Adults
This course provides craft exercises and research strategies specific to the writers of young adult fiction. Narrative and prose theory along with hands-on exercises provide the basis for the instruction. Reading young adult texts as a writer and reading critical readings about young adult fiction supplement the craft coursework. To develop a knowledge of the facility with the craft of young adult writing, the course relies more on exercise and excerpts rather than on the workshopping of completed, “whole” works.

Design Concentration

GPP 7203 Children’s Book Design & Illustration
Please see the course description under the Children’s & YA Publishing Concentration.

GPP 7313 Typography, Color, and Design (online class)
This course will focus on basic principles of typography, color, and design for the use of print materials. Students will study the history of communication and typography, and learn the classifications of typography and usage including the study of a selection of proper type for specific purposes. Students will study color, how to use the color wheel, the psychology of color, and the proper use of color for print. This course will also focus on developing a student’s awareness of design elements using type including the principles of emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, repetition, and flow.

GPP 7345/7347/7359/7350 Design Studio I, II, III, IV
Students will learn and enhance their knowledge of the Adobe Design Suite (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe In-Design) with the focus of preparing digital files for the publishing industry. Introductory students will learn about electronic illustration, page layout, and photo composting, while more advanced students will further enhance their skills. Students will gain hands on experience by creating press-ready images. Students will take a skill-level based test that simulates what a studio would give a perspective employee to ensure competency.  

GPP 7355/7357/7359 Web Design Studio I, II, III
Students will learn and enhance their knowledge of HTML, XML, and JavaScript. The features of Web editing software will also be covered. All skill levels will create a Web page (more advanced students will create “real world” Web projects), paying strict attention to designing error-free, well-executed code. More advanced students will further their skill base by working on DHTML.

Editorial Concentration

GPP 7005 Mechanics of Editing
This course will explore the various forms of editing, while paying particular attention to what editing professionals do, how, and why they do what they do matters, as well as where their skills can be applied in the editing profession. Students will learn and enhance editing skills such as proofreading, copyediting, fact-checking, indexing, and the use of style guides and other resources. Students will also learn about the day-to-day responsibilities and the challenges of working both “in-house” and as a freelancer.

GPP 7165 EDITING the fiction book
In this course, students will learn to edit novel-length fiction on a developmental level providing detailed comments and recommendations on flow, structure, character development, plot, voice, themes, setting, and genre-specific issues, as well as copyediting to address sentence structure, typographical errors, etc. Students will work on novel-length student manuscripts to give them the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to foster a productive editor/author relationship. Course is limited to 8 students.

GPP 7205 Acquisitions Editing
This fast-paced and immersive course introduces students to the responsibilities and key competencies of acquisitions or “commissioning” editors – management-level publishing professionals who “sign” (i.e. identify and contract) new books and other intellectual properties for their firm to publish and who oversee teams of colleagues in order to see book projects through from initial contract to publication. Acquisitions editors serve a hybrid role that combines editing and writing with functions generally associated with marketing and sales. AEs must be skilled researchers; capable analysts; confident negotiators; agile relationship managers; results-oriented team-leaders, and more. Working collaboratively with the instructor and classmates, each student will develop her/his own “list” for out class publishing company. Through short weekly assignments and presentations students will learn how to identify publishing opportunities; perform market research and market sizing; complete competitive analyses; write marketing and sales support materials; and create complete, polished acquisitions proposals that meet industry standards and present solid business cases for the acquisition of new titles. Prerequisite: GPP 7206 Developmental Editing or consent from the Program Director. Limit 10 students.

GPP 7206 Developmental Editing
This course offers students a fast-paced, practical and immersive experience in editorial content development. We will first look at the traditional role of the developmental editor in non-fiction and reference publishing and discuss how the DE’s role (and title/job description) is evolving. We’ll look at the path mss follows from acquisition to publication and how emerging trends in publishing are impacting the professional practice of development. Students will gain experience evaluating and developing content at the various stages of its life cycle, from concept/initial outline stage to completed manuscript to published books that are candidates for revision. The second half of the course will deal substantially with developing content for publication online. We will define “digital content” and look at principles and practice of web content development. Further, students will see how concepts from traditional developmental editing are directly relevant to the creation/enhancement of online publications. This course will help students acquire essential competencies such as:
1) evaluating content and proposals for published content
2) improving content via addition, subtraction, better organization, improved tone, etc.
3) researching and producing a competitive analysis
4) conducting basic market research and market-led development
5) developing content to include visual and other media
6) working with a client-author and/or publisher
7) creating a comprehensive development plan for a book or other publication
8) creating a comprehensive revision plan
9) creating, curating and organizing content for publication online

Students will gain practical experience developing a range of content with clearly-defined 
objectives in mind. Uniquely, this class will enable students to work with an author or publisher client who has “hired” our class to develop his manuscript/publication. Prerequisite: GPP 7200 Publishing Overview or consent of the Program Director. Limit 10 students.

GPP 7210 Life as a Literary Agent
The Literary Agent plays a crucial role in the book publishing industry as the liaison between the author and the publishing house. A successful literary agent must have the ability to seek out and recognize good quality and marketable book content, and a judicious editorial eye to help authors craft successful proposals and manuscripts. The agent must also build and maintain a strong network with editors in various publishing categories, and serve as an advocate and sales agent on behalf of their author clients. Agents conduct sales, negotiate contracts, and then mentor the fulfillment of contractual negotiations, including handling financial issues and subsidiary rights. In this changing era of book publishing, authors rely heavily on literary agents to shepherd them through the publishing process.

GPP 7225 Role of the Magazine Editor
In this class, students will examine the various types and responsibilities of each of the editorial positions within the magazine industry: contributing, copy, associate, managing, and editor-in-chief. Students will also closely examine how each of these editors work on a daily basis to ensure that each article and story written, printed, and/or uploaded directly speaks to the magazine’s editorial vision. In addition to understanding the role of each of these types of editors, students will look at the role of the editor in ensuring the overall success of the magazine. 

GPP 7230 How to Write for Magazines
This course will cover the basics of freelancing for magazines including developing story ideas, pitching articles, conducting interviews, and researching material. It will analyze magazines such as national, regional, news, trade, and consumer, and teach how to write various types of articles including profiles, how-to pieces, full-length features, and more. Students will complete several articles of various lengths and purpose, and propose them for sale.

GPP 7235 Contemporary Literature and Publishing for Children
In this course, we will survey past and present American literature for children and adolescents. We will study the various genres of children's books and learn about various trends in publishing books for children and teens. Students should be prepared to read a large number of children's books over the course of the semester.


GPP 7215 Publishing Internship

An on-the-job experience in a commercial publishing environment that offers the student training in a variety of editorial, production, or marketing skills. Participation is supervised by a publishing professional from the host publishing organization and by a faculty advisor.

Students may obtain internships at any point during their academic career; however, only those students who have successfully completed (3.0 GPA) 18 credits are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship. Students may ONLY receive a total of 3 credits for an internship.



GPP 7500 Thesis/Capstone
The thesis is designed as a culminating experience that allows students to undertake original work to reflect and extend the breadth of their graduate program experience. Eligible students choose a topic, secure a faculty thesis advisor, and submit, for review and approval by the program director, a written plan for the thesis project. Thesis is open only to matriculated students in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or higher) who are within 18 credit hours of graduation.