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Glossary of Terms

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Here's where you thank all the people who helped you get your book into print. Usually found at the front of the book.

Advance (see also Royalty)
The sum paid by the publisher to the author, in two or three installments, usually upon signing the contract, delivery of the manuscript, and publication. Calculated against eventual royalty payments.

Advance Print Run
Copies of the book provided by the publisher that appear before the official release date. Useful for reviewers.

Extra material, such as notes, references, and charts, that does not fit into the body of the book. Can appear at the end of a chapter or at the end of the book before the index.

A computer file that travels with an email message. A useful way to send your manuscript over the Internet.

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Back Matter/End Matter
Material published at the back of a book, including such things as an index, appendices, glossary, or bibliography.

To bleed means to extend outside the normal trim area of a book's page. A bleed is any element (such as a photo, rule, or shading on a page) that extends outside the trim or margin area. The ink from these elements will be visible on the edges of the finished book.

An online journal (or "web log"). A great way to publicize (or find material for) your book.

A promotional statement by someone recommending a book, often found on the front or back cover.

An actual, physical bookstore. Usually used to show comparison between retailers who sell to walk-in locations and "e-tailers" or those who sell on the Web.

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The system of color specification, referring to the four basic colors used in printing: cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K).

Co-op Advertising
Advertising where the cost is shared, usually between the publisher and the bookseller. Such advertising is especially advantageous to smaller companies with limited budgets. In some co-op advertising, a publisher offers incentives or discounts to retailers who promote particular books.

Content Editor
The person who edits the book for content or substance, which can include language, plot, characters, structure, veracity, and general style.

The person who edits the book for grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, and consistency of style.

Ownership of intellectual property such as printed matter, protected by law. The right to copy, repurchase, or publish content of the copyrighted medium.

Cover Design
The covers of a book, intended to inform and attract buyers and readers. Includes image, color, type design, and layout.

Credit Line
A line of text that assigns credit to the owner of the copyright of the material it refers to. Found in the book's front matter.

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Deep Discount
A deep discount is a discount from the retail value of a book. A deep discount is a discount of more than 60%. Very large retailers or wholesalers may demand a deep discount from publishers in order to purchase a book.

Design (see also Cover Design)
The layout, selection of font and font size, and typesetting of a book.

Developmental Editor
The person who deals with the overall organization of the book. A developmental editor also looks at plot, tone, voice, and the organization of sections or chapters in the book.

Discount (see also Short Discount, Deep Discount, Industry-Standard Discount)
A reduced book price offered by the publishers to retailers who buy in bulk. Also applies to the price paid by authors for copies of their book from the publisher.

A company or individual who sells books to retailers on behalf of the authors or publishers.

Domain Name
Registered Web address or URL. Registration often requires a small fee that prevents other parties from registering the same domain.

Download (see also Upload)
To move files from a larger format to a smaller one, for example, from a server to a computer or from a computer to a CD or memory stick.

DPI or Dots Per Inch
The "resolution" of an image on a page, computer screen, or file. The higher the dpi, the sharper the printed image will be. Conventional web images are around 72 dpi, printed images are a minimum of 300 dpi.

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A book published in electronic format.

End Matter/Back Matter
The counterpart of front matter. Any material, such as appendixes, notes, references, glossary, or index, coming after the chapters of a book.

Reference citations or additional information found at the bottom of a page (footnote) or listed at the end of a chapter or book (endnote). A reader's attention is usually directed to a note with a superscript character.

A promotional statement by someone recommending a book, often found on the front or back cover.

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The application of typographic elements to text, implementing the book's design.

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A broad category of book, usually fiction, with common elements. Genres include romance, science-fiction, true crime, and mystery.

A person contracted by an author or publisher to write or co-write a book with the author. A ghostwriter is either uncredited or acknowledged as "By [Author] with [Ghostwriter]."

A format used to compress graphics and images. The filename extension is ".gif."

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The conversion of an image into a matrix of dots in preparation for reproduction in print media.

A book covered with cloth material glued to a type of cardboard, often covered with a paper dust jacket. Reference books, lending library books, and early editions of some trade books are bound in this way.

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A list of words and subjects to be found in a book, accompanied by the page numbers where they can be found. Appears at the end of the book.

Industry-Standard Discount
A discount from the retail value of the book. Publishers usually sell books to retailers at 40 to 45% off the retail value.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
A unique 13-digit number identifying a book.

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A file format used to compress photographs and complex graphics. The filename extension is ".jpeg."



Line Editor
An editor who considers more than spelling and punctuation, but who doesn't address the book's overall structure. A line edit can include dialogue and accuracy in fiction, pacing, consistency, voice, and tone.

Literary Agent
An author's representative in negotiations with publishers.

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Manuscript/Typescript (see also Unsolicited Manuscript)
The version of a book before design and production, including the author's and editor's contributions but not those of the designer.

Promotion of a book, including press releases, arranging for reviews, advertising, and other publicity efforts.

Mass-Market Paperback
A smaller, less expensive edition of a book that usually appears after the hardcover and or trade paperback versions have been published.

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A small community or section of the book-buying public.

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Offset Printing
A printing process whereby inks are applied to the paper in layers via a series of rollers.

Out of Print
A book which is no longer being produced by the publisher, and whose complete ownership may have reverted to its author.

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Page Proofs
The final version of a book before it goes to the printer. Contains all elements including page numbers and layout. Used for proofreading and indexing.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising
An arrangement whereby an advertiser pays a website owner a sum for every “click” by a visitor on the ad.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
A format for computer files that allows them to be precisely reproduced in a variety of media and systems. Useful for transmitting files from a publisher to a printer.

An agreement from a copyright holder to reproduction or quoting of copyrighted material, such as images or song lyrics.

The unfolding of action in a story.

An audio broadcast available for downloading from a website to a personal computer or other device.

Point of View
The standpoint or voice from which a story is told. Usually 'first person' “I ate the apple” or 'third person' “she ate the apple” and may switch between characters or to an omniscient or all-knowing, anonymous narrator.

Print-on-Demand (POD)
An arrangement whereby books are printed only as orders are placed.

The final examination of the typeset version of a book to avoid errors.

Publication Date
The date when a book is available for sale.

A person who promotes a book, arranging reviews and publicity for the author.

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Books offered for sale at a discounted price by the publisher or a third party.

Unsold books sent back from bookstores to the publisher for a refund.

A published critique or opinion about a book.

Royalty (see also Advance)
The percentage of sales revenue paid by the publisher to the author, after the advance payment has been recouped.

Running Head
Text at the top of a book page containing book, chapter, or section title information, page number, and author's name. A recto (right-hand page) running head usually differs in content from that of the verso (left-hand page).

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Self Publishing
A system whereby the author makes all the editing, printing, publicity, and distribution arrangements and assumes all the financial risk.

Short Discount
Short discount is a discount from the retail value of a book. A short discount is a discount of less than 25%. Traditionally, libraries have purchased books at this discount rate; however, it is much more common that they demand a greater discount from the publisher.

Slush Pile
Unsolicited manuscripts a publishing house receives.

Spine Width
The measurement of the part of the book between its front and back covers, usually visible when the book is on a shelf. The spine contains the book's title, the author's name, and the publisher's logo.

Style Sheet
The document produced by the book's copyeditor, detailing any decisions made concerning spelling of variable words, punctuation, numbers, and style of any headings and captions. Reinforces consistency in the eventual book.

Subsidiary Rights
The rights for the subsequent use of the book's content, for example, television, film, and translation rights. Sometimes sold separately from publication rights.

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Table of Contents
Information concerning the book's chapters or sections and their page numbers. Always found at the front of the book.

Target Audience
The particular group of people, or market, to whom a book is expected to appeal.

Compressed-file format for graphic images. The filename extension is ".tif."

Author's schedule of appearances to publicize a book, including press interviews, public readings, and book signings.

Trade Paperback
A book bound with a paper or heavy-stock cover, usually with a larger trim size than that of a mass-market paperback. It can be the initial published version of a book or subsequent to the hardcover but before the mass-market paperback.

Trade Publishing
The traditional business of publishing books, usually for the retail market. It does not include educational material or books for specific markets such as scientific or medical texts.

Trim Size
The final, physical dimensions of a book after binding.

Formatting a book's content to include typeface, font size, and layout.

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Unsolicited Manuscript (see also Manuscript/Typescript)
A manuscript received by a publisher who did not solicit or request it.

Upload (see also Download)
Moving files from a smaller to a larger format—from a computer to the Internet, for example.

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Vanity Press/Vanity Publisher
A publisher who facilitates self publishing by authors but assumes none of the financial risk and offers little or no editorial contribution.

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