Publishing Terms A – Z

For those of you wondering about all the acronyms and lingo used in the publishing world, here are more than 60 popular publishing terms and definitions. I trust you already know your hardcovers from your paperbacks, so be prepared to learn some real publishing jargon. Have a word you want defined? Ask away in the comments section!

A

Acquisition: When a book is selected for publication by an editor.

Advance: The money paid to an author before the book goes on sale. It is called an advance because it is an advance against royalties…authors have to earn out the value of their advance before they can start earning royalties.

Agent: A representative of an author who wears many hats: editor, life coach, contract manager, deal broker, and more.

ALA: American Library Association

ARC: Advance Reader Copy, or an early proof of the book for readers and reviewers.

B

Continue reading

How a Book Cover Is Made

For better or for worse, the creation of the cover is often cited the single most important part of the publishing process. Wait, you’re thinking, shouldn’t it be the creation of the BOOK? The actual words?? As an editor, I say, of course the words are the most important! But when it comes to making sure that book sells, I must admit I understand why cover is king.

Whether you are holding a hardcopy or squinting at a thumbnail, you aren’t going to flip the book over to read the jacket copy or click open the first page if that cover doesn’t intrigue you. And if the cover doesn’t intrigue you, there’s a much smaller chance you’ll buy the book. In order for those beautiful words to reach a reader, we almost always need a stunner cover. As a result, the cover process can take months and thousands of dollars.

Despite that pressure to succeed, being a part of the cover creation is one of the best elements of my job. I can barely draw you a stick figure, but it’s so much fun to let that creative side my brain loose with a bunch of very artistic people and see them work their magic. I can’t speak for all publishers, designers, or editors, but here’s a look at what my typical cover process looks like from start to finish. Continue reading