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Commissioning & Project Management


30 – 31 March 2010 (Tue – Wed)
9.00am – 5.00pm

Possibility Room, Level 5
National Library Building
100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064

Course Fee: $370.00

This is a past course. View upcoming courses.

What You'll Get

The aim is to help you build a profitable list of worthwhile publications that meets overall company strategy and management goals.

You'll find out how to create a market-led proposal, and how to plan publication, including scheduling. You'll also get a clearer understanding of financial management and how costings work, as well as looking at the language and essential content of author contracts.

Who Should Attend

This is the definitive course for anyone who wants to learn how to build profitable lists. For publishers and editors with a responsibility for commissioning and list-building in publishing, this unique programme will give you the best start possible.


Day 1
List Building and Marketing Research

  •  Introduction to commissioning
  •  Building a profitable list
  •  Differences between publishing sectors
  •  The ‘marketing concept’ and the ‘marketing mix’
  •  Definition of marketing research
  •  Are ‘books different’? (what about electronic publications)
  •  Key questions to be resolved by marketing information

Financial Considerations

  •  Key elements of costing and margin calculations
  •  Annual budgeting for a list (new books and backlist)
  •  Regular management reports and their relationship to annual budgets


  •  Essential elements of an author-publisher contract
  •  Analysis of a model author-publisher contract

Finding New Titles

  •  Finding and working with authors
  •  Putting up a new project for board approval
  •  Translations, adaptations, co-publications and other rights
  •  Informing colleagues about the new title (New Book Information Forms)

Day 2
Is It Profitable? - Costings and Margins

  •  Revision of basic margin calculations
  •  Factors to be considered when fixing the published price
  •  Recurring and non-recurring costs; fixed and variable costs
  •  Costing requests & Cost estimates
  •  Juggling the variables - can we make the costing work?

Case Study

  •  Planning a publishing programme

Scheduling and Monitoring Progress

  •  Critical path analysis and flowcharts for editing and production
  •  Principles of scheduling - who and what?
  •  Schedule requests & Typical schedules
  •  Monitoring progress

About the Trainer: Richard Slessor

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Richard Slessor has extensive and widely varying experience in publishing, both in the UK and in Southeast and East Asia. He has also had opportunities to obtain a first hand view of publishing in the USA, Canada, China, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and several East and West African countries. Richard was the first Publishing Manager of Macmillan Hong Kong; ran an Asian editorial services unit for the Macmillan group; built up the Stanley Thornes humanities list more or less from scratch; and was a founder and Managing Director of Accent, a specialist modern languages publisher. In the late 1990s, he had responsibility for developing tertiary level EFL publishing at Garnet Publishing in Reading, with a special focus on the Middle East.

From 1995 to 1997, Richard was Senior Lecturer in Publishing at West Herts College, and ran the college's postgraduate diploma course in publishing. From 2000 to 2005, he taught business language and communication at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, and ran the post-experience publishing courses there. Richard has also run co-publishing seminars for senior publishers in China, and done consultancy work for the Ethiopian government’s educational materials agency.

Registration Details

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis and workshop fees must be paid before the workshop. If the minimum number of participants is not met for the class, the organisers will inform all participants about possible postponement and cancellation, two weeks before the workshop date.

Cancellation & Substitution

The workshop can be cancelled or postponed two weeks before the workshop date if the minimum number of participants is not met. Participants will be fully refunded for workshops cancelled by us.

Participants who are unable to attend a workshop they have registered for are to inform us of the reason two weeks before the workshop date. They will be fully refunded in the event of extenuating and mitigating circumstances (E.g. illness, bereavement, accidents) . Those who inform us up to five (5) working days before the workshop date will receive a 50% refund. Participants can also attend another course at the same value within the same year.

Upon registration, you are deemed to have read and understood the cancellation, withdrawal and substitution policy and accept the terms contained therein.