The world's first degree in self-publishing

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A British university has announced it will launch the world's first postgraduate degree in self-publishing.

The University of Central Lancashire's self-publishing MA begins in September and will train students on editing, layout, finance management, marketing and ePublishing, according to the school website's program description. The final part of the course will provide students with a chance to complete a finished copy of their own book.

Course leader Debbie Williams told the Guardian that the new program will help "legitimize" the self-publishing industry.

"Things have definitely changed," she said. "In the last two years, self-publishing has stopped being a dirty word, and is a legitimate option for authors. Even the biggest authors are looking at it now."

Williams said the self-publishing degree was created because of the intense demand for it, and prospective students are already applying. It will not be a creative writing course, she said, and will focus more on the production and business aspects of writing, through a mix of lectures and workshops with industry experts.

"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 realize the dream of seeing their book in print."

terry-fallis-100.jpgHow to write a bestseller: The 7½ steps that turned Terry Fallis into a publishing phenomenon

If you're interested in self-publishing, Canada Writes recently retraced the steps of how Terry Fallis took his novel The Best Laid Plans from self-published story to 100,000-copy selling blockbuster. Read more.