Managing the Publishing Process

Managing the Publishing Process is a groundbreaking book designed to demonstrate how creativity and commerce can be managed in a facilitative environment that at once takes account of human abilities, needs, and frailties; organizational goals; and product excellence. It describes how to manage the publishing process to affirm societal and ethical values, produce an efficient organization that optimizes the requirements of employees, and achieve a publisher’s purpose and mission. Beginning with the primary responsibility of publishing management — to marshal, direct, and control people, time, and money — Ralph Hancox systematically explores the management of the publishing process. With the goal of transferring intellectual creativity from one to many, Hancox explains how to create and manage a successful, people-oriented publishing house, covering critical topics including publishing functions, staff motivation, project financing, production, marketing, and external environmental challenges. Created as a foundation for teaching management to Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing candidates, this volume opens the management of publishing for view to a far wider audience.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Nature of Management
The skills and abilities needed for management are not easily defined, but there is no question that for managers to be successful, they need training. Various approaches are discussed, personality and situational variables are explored, and the needs in a successful publishing enterprise are outlined.

Topic 1 / Management Strategies

Purpose and Mission statements must be clearly defined if the entire publishing process – from the origin of intellectual property to the finished product reaching its desired public – is to be properly driven. From strategic plans to objectives for the staff, systematic planning is discussed.

Topic 2 / Publishing Functions

Publication, revenue, and administration are explored in detail. Particular attention is paid to the publishing proposition and its specifications. Important aspects of administration are stressed, as are the uses of the job description and measurable standards of performance.

Topic 3 / Organization

What constitutes an efficient and effective structure – especially in an enterprise whose staff consists of highly talented specialists? Hierarchies, functions, and leadership all must be taken into account and controlled through an understanding of the objectives of the enterprise.

Topic 4 / Financial Models

The economics of a publishing proposition are usually left to the “bean counters” in the company. But there is an implicit requirement at every level in a publishing group to understand its dynamics. The individual salary component is used here to build the entire financial structure to show why.

Topic 5 / Publishing Markets

Market transactions, dismissed as concerns for the sales force are, in fact, involved at all the levels of a publishing group. Thus, every individual must be aware of what is involved in bargaining for the group to profit and survive.

Topic 6 / Production Management

Project management differs from general management only in its details. Knowledge of operational and production technologies is key to effective production. Essential, too, in the organization, is knowing what goes on once your element passes to the next in line.

Topic 7 / Business Environments

Publishing is conducted in a complicated social and business climate. Ethics, legalities, freedom of the press, libel, privacy, community standards, competition, and public policy all play a part. How a publisher’s business success is achieved plays its part, too, in the value of the enterprise.

End Note
Final Study Question: The Freedom Press


About the Author

Ralph Hancox is Adjunct Professor and Professional Fellow Emeritus at the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University. He developed and taught Topics in Publishing Management for the Master of Publishing program from 1994 to 2003. Professor Hancox has worked in the publishing industry in England, Canada, the United States, and Italy and has worked as a consultant in Indonesia, China, Canada, Italy, and the United States. Hancox was the Canadian Nieman Fellow at Harvard University from 1965 to 1966 and did post-graduate studies in publishing management development at both Columbia University and the Harvard Business School. In February 2001, he was given the SFU Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award for his work at the university and for the Canadian publishing industry.