PUBLISHING TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW – (An excerpt from “Author 101: Bestselling Nonfiction” by Rick Frishman and Robyn Freedman Spizman)Publishing industry personnel tend to speak in shorthand that they assume everyone understands, which is not always the case. When they talk about books and publishing, they can completely lose you. For example, publishing people constantly refer to “trade books”, which can leave industry outsiders scratching their heads.
Unless you ask for clarification, important information about your proposal or book deal can sail completely over your head. Familiarize yourself with the following lingo so when you chat with agents or publishing personnel, you can understand what they’re saying and be sure that you’re both on the same page.
Common Publishing Terms:
- An editor at a publishing company who has the responsibility to obtain and screen manuscripts that the house may wish to publish.
American Booksellers Association (ABA)
- The major industry association for U.S. booksellers. Its annual trade show, BookExpo, is where people in the industry display and learn about new publications and producers.
- Standard contractual clauses or language. Generally, they are subject to negotiation and change.
- Groups that sell and send designated books to their members at regular intervals and at reduced prices.
- Review of manuscripts for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax and meaning. Copyediting is a part of the publishing process that is usually done by professional editors at the publisher’s expense.
- The charges made by agents to read and critique writers’ book proposals, manuscripts and other materials.
- The publication of selected portions of a book in periodicals prior to the book’s publication.
- The general classification of a book such as business, parenting, writing, etc. The genre is usually indicated at the top of the back cover.
- Books bound in a stiff, protective cover that usually resists bending.
- The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a ten-digit number that identifies each title and publisher. It’s use for ordering and inventory purposes.
- The removable covering placed on most hardbound books that contains promotional material on the book. Also called the dust jacket.
- The first sentence or paragraph in a piece of writing.
- The opening section of a book proposal that describes the book and its market. Also called the introduction, summary, synopsis and vision.
- Those who bring the concept for book projects to publishers and then supervise the creation of the products that the publishers release. They frequently work with writers, designers and others to bring their projects together.
- Books that haven’t sold and are returned to the publisher. It’s standard practice in the book-publishing industry to allow retailers and wholesalers to return books that haven’t sold.
- The term for a book that an author publishes him- or herself and not through a traditional publishing company. Typically, the authors handle, or hire other s to handle, all writing, editing, design, printing and distribution themselves.
- Books sold through traditional channels to bookstores and book clubs.
- The process in which an author pays a company to publish his or her manuscript. Some vanity publishers also provide editing, design and distribution services.
or go to http://www.author101.com to get all 4 books!