This glossary is your guide to book production, design and publishing terms. These terms will not only help you understand the process of book production, but will help you build success for your book. 


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Acknowledgments: 1) Recognition or honor given to people who have influenced the book being published or who have made a difference in the life of the author. 2) Section of a book containing such recognition.

Appendix: Part of book that follows a chapter (end-of-chapter appendix) or, more commonly, that comes after all the chapters (end-of-book appendix). An appendix contains supplemental material, such as tables or source material, which does not conveniently fit into a chapter.

Author Review: The  phase in which the author will review cover and galley proofs and either approve for print or make revisions.

Back Matter: Counterpart of front matter. Any material, such as appendixes, notes, references, glossary or index, coming after the chapters of a book.

Bleed: To bleed means to extend outside the normal trim area of a book's page. A bleed is a bar, illustration, rule or other element that extends outside the trim area. Such elements have ink that is visible on the edge of the page in the bound book.

Book Block: PDF files that comprise all book content except the cover.

Book Consultant: Author’s book sales representative. Assists author with all book orders.

Book Pricing: Retail pricing based on trim size and page count.

Check In Coordinator: Representative whose job it is to evaluate all submitted materials to determine if it meets publisher qualifications. Helps author to prepare publishing materials for production and design team.

Comp Copy: First printed copy of the completed book sent to author to be reviewed for any print errors.

Content Editor: Person who edits the content (subject matter) of a book in addition to its form (sentence structure). A content editor often recommends substantive corrections to a manuscript, such as those affecting presentation, veracity, relevance and so forth.

Content Evaluation: Analysis of books content to ensure the originality of content. The content is also evaluated for any libel issues. 

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

Cover Design: Aesthetic layout on the covers of a book, usually intended to be attractive or alluring to the eye.

Cover Sign Off: A form the author signs attesting that the cover of the book is complete and authorized to send to the printer exactly as it appears in the electronic proofs.

Design (Book and Cover): Layout, selection of font and font size and typesetting of a book. See Cover Design.

Developmental Editor: Person who deals with the overall organization of a book's manuscript rather than with changes such as wording of sentences within paragraphs. A developmental editor also addresses reordering entire blocks of text and such an edit may extend to reordering entire chapters. The edit may also address tone, voice, addition or deletion of material, complexity of material and transitions among paragraphs and sections of the book.

Distribution: Availability of book to nationwide retailers.

Distributor: Company, group or individual who sells products or services to retailers instead of to consumers.

DPI (Dots per Inch): Convention expressing graphic resolution of a graphic file, resolution of a computer monitor or potential printing density of a computer printer.

E-book: Electronic file format to which books may be published. Although dedicated devices may be used to read e-books, they may be read on other platforms such as PDAs and personal computers as well.

Endorsement: Written statement promoting the author or book. Usually listed on the cover or the front matter of the book.

Editorial Assessment: Sections of an author’s manuscript are evaluated for its editorial quality and publishing readiness. Includes a short sample edit.

Footnote (FN, Endnote): A footnote is a reference citations and supplementary information that appears at the bottom of a book page. A reader's attention is usually directed to a footnote through the use of a superscript character. An endnote takes the same form as a footnote but appears at the end of the chapter or book.

Formatting: 1) Process by which a design team lays out a manuscript to create book pages. 2) Text effect applied to characters to make them appear bold, italic, sheared or otherwise.

Front Matter: Any material preceding the beginning chapters of the book including the table of contents, dedication, acknowledgements, introduction, and foreword.

Galley: The interior text of the book.

Galley Sign Off: A form the author signs attesting that the interior of the book is complete and authorized to send to the printer exactly as it appears in the electronic proofs.

Genre: Broad category or kind of book, generally denoted by the book's subject matter. Some examples of book genres include romance, sci-fi, self-help and true crime.

Grayscale: Refers to images (which may originally have been represented in color) that are composed only of black and white and the gray shades in-between.

Hard Return: Occurs when the “enter” or “return” key is used at the end of a line of text rather than allowing the natural wraparound of the text to the next line.

Hardcover Book: Book that has cloth material glued to a type of pasteboard material, forming a durable cover and spine. Reference books and lending library books are often bound in this way.

Index: List of words at the end of a book that guides a reader to the specific pages on which subjects appear in the main body of the text.

Interior: All content within the book. Everything except the cover.

Interior graphics/Images: Pictures, diagrams, figures and other graphical items that appear within the contents of a book.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN): Unique 13-digit number (10 or 13 digits prior to 2007) that identifies a version of a book.

Keyword: Important word or phrase that is input to conduct searches on online search engines and databases to find all related results.

LCCN: Library of Congress Control Number. The publisher will apply for this with the Library of Congress on the author’s behalf and include on the copyright page of book.

Line Editor: Person who performs an edit that is heavier than a typical copyedit and who considers a book's voice, tone and phrasing. Fiction line editing considers the story's pacing, character development, handling of details and vocabulary of the period and place where the novel is set and the naturalness and effectiveness of dialogue. A line editor also focuses on correcting errors in grammar, punctuation and writing style.

Manuscript: Complete version of a book (often as an electronic text file) as prepared by the author. The term manuscript refers to both textual and graphic elements of the book. Editors and authors make preproduction book alterations to the manuscript. The finalized manuscript is used to produce a set of book pages.

Marketing: Promotional and advertising efforts to sell books.

Marketing Consultant (MC): An author’s representative in the marketing department who will assist author with the understanding and purchase of marketing services. The MC helps an author determine which marketing services will suit their book and publishing package best.

Offset Printing: Common printing technology that applies layers one at a time. A reverse image of each color interfaces with the page via a roller. The roller presses against the paper applying the proper color of ink.

Online Bookseller (Online Retailer): Bookstore on the Web that sells books and other publications to the customer at retail or discounted prices.

PDF (Portable Document Format): Adobe Systems file format that can be precisely reproduced on different systems. PDF files are often sent to a printer.

Permission: 1) Agreement from a copyright holder that permits the reproduction or publication of copyrighted material. 2) Process of securing agreements from copyright holder.

Prepare for Design: The design consultant evaluates all of the submitted materials one last time to ensure that everything is in order and ready to be moved into the design phase.

Print-on-Demand (POD): Publishing arrangement in which books are printed only as orders are placed.

Print-Ready: Final PDF files of a book that are ready to go to the printer. See also PDF (Portable Document File).

Production: The process of designing the book’s interior and cover. The production team consist of an author’s design consultant, customer service, book designer, and cover designer. Once all production materials have been submitted and evaluated, the book will enter production.

Proof: An electronic copy of the book galley or cover submitted to the author for review.

Proofreading: Read-through of typeset material to ensure that content matches the book's manuscript. Incorrect grammar, punctuation, spelling or usage, is queried to the editor.

Publication Date: Official date when a book is to be released to the public.

Publishing Consultant (PC): An author’s representative who will help the author determine which publishing package will best meet an author’s needs.

Publishing Services Associate (PSA): Customer service representative who acts as an author’s point of contact throughout production process. Also acts as a liaison between the author and designers.

Return: Book returned to and refunded by the publisher after failing to sell on the bookstore shelf. Only the front covers of mass-market paperbacks need be returned to qualify for the refund.

Review: Professional book reviewer's published opinion of a particular book in a periodical or online.

Royalty: Payment to a book's author that is usually a percentage of sales revenue.

Self-Publishing: System of book production in which the author generally assumes the financial risk of publication. The self-publishing model circumvents the need for an author to contract with a publishing house to ensure publication of the book. A self-published book is also usually distributed and marketed by its author.

Softcover: The front and back cover of the book.

Spine Width: Width of part of the book that is visible on a bookshelf. The spine connects the front and back covers.

Table of Contents: This section, always called "Contents," appears in the book's front matter. It lists the book's chapters and their opening page numbers.

Target Audience: Specific group of people whom a book, series or genre targets. Book marketing tends to be concentrated on the target audience.

Text Box: A space outset from the normal text within the interior of the book in which text is displayed.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): Compressed-file format for graphic images. The filename extension is .tif

Title Live: This represents a book’s status after it has completed the production process and has been activated by the printer for sale.

Trim Size: Final physical dimensions of a book page after the book is bound and trimmed.

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