Loyola Magazine
Doing it by the book
Illustration of a stack of books

Intro to Book Publishing

With a little help from Apprentice House, students gain a solid foundation in the book publishing process

Curious about the book publishing industry?

Loyola offers a course that gives students a hands-on look at the book publishing industry and lays the foundation for a future career in the field. Introduction to Book Publishing is the first of four courses that teaches students how to publish books by connecting them to Loyola’s very own nonprofit, student-run publisher, Apprentice House.

Student setting text for a book layout in InDesign A copy of Rob Hiaasen's 'Float Plan' sitting on a student's desk

The three-credit online course is taught by Kevin Atticks, DCD, affiliate assistant professor, who serves as publisher and director of Apprentice House and who has taught in Loyola’s communication department since 1999.

About the Course

Intro to Publishing is the foundation course of the book publishing curriculum at Loyola. Students in this course traverse and discuss the history, culture, and future of the book publishing industry. They gain a sneak peek into the ever-evolving world of book publishing through video interviews with authors, publicists, publishers, distributors, and booksellers. These guest professionals provide a real-world perspective and deep insight into this vibrant field. They examine how one component of the industry—bookselling—has completely changed course over the last three decades, and how consumers are driving innovation in the process, production, and delivery of books.

Professor Kevin Atticks instructing students on how to use book layout software

Learning from the Past

During the course, students specifically compare the book publishing and marketing experience in the 1990s to current times and examine how much has changed in a mere 30 years. They research the history, evolution, and culture of book publishing through readings, essays, videos, and discussions. They learn how a desire for information—for research or for pleasure—has driven the industry to innovate over the centuries.

The Next Chapter – Career Preparation

This course shows students what it takes to publish a book and teaches them the skills they need for a career in publishing, all while giving them valuable experience that they can add to their portfolios and résumés. Students in the course hear from publicists, authors, and book printers about their experiences in the industry. They also learn about contemporary print media from the publisher's perspective, including editorial management, promotion, design, manufacturing, and new developments in the publishing industry.

Student selling copies of Wes Peters's 'Between the Doors' on Loyola's Quad Book cover printout sitting on a cutting mat before being trimmed

Students gain field knowledge about the industry and leave the course with an understanding of the role book publishing plays in society, and the many professional opportunities they can find within the field.

Learn more about Apprentice House and hear from students