John Bond: On Courses

By Holly Miller |

Anyone working in and around publishing in the last few years will have been aware of the growth of courses. From online training on self-publishing and marketing to year-long publishing Masters degrees offered by some of the most prestigious universities in the country – courses are here to stay.

One course whitefox has been involved with since its inception is the publishing module of the National Film and Television School EPCRI scheme. This is aimed at young entrepreneurs wanting to produce creative content across different platforms, including books.

What has made this particularly interesting is to look back at some of the assumptions made about the market when the course began (not long after whitefox started trading) and seeing how these have played out.

These were the questions we were all asking:

  • What will happen to bricks and mortar retailers?
  • Will agents be by-passing traditional publishers and take their brand name writers directly to market?
  • Will all commissioning be driven by data?
  • What will happen to audio?
  • Will physical books still have a place in relation to their digital cousin?

Precise predictions in publishing are tricky. Perhaps the answer lies in that great quote attributed to Bill Gates. ‘We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.’

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