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

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FAQ: The Editing Process

Your book has been acquired—hooray! Next comes weeks and weeks of shaping and editing the novel as you work with your editor. No matter what the manuscript looks like at the time of acquisition, this process is essential to the book publishing cycle (and it’s the reason I have a job!). Check out the answers to frequently asked questions about editing below.

1. How long does the editing process take? This varies from book to book. On average, I try to schedule a minimum six months of editing time, which includes my macro edits as well as copyedits and proofreads.  Continue reading