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The Publisher’s Glossary


By Kristen Joseph

Just like any industry, the publishing world is full of terminology that is often unfamiliar to anyone who isn’t constantly surrounded by it. We throw these terms around the office with each other, but we realize that people who don’t work in the business likely have no idea what it means when we say, “I need those BISAC codes, ASAP!” In an effort to change this, we thought it’d be a good idea to introduce a few of these terms to our readers. Welcome to our world!

Bibliography – the list of outside sources used to create a written work

BISAC Codes – industry codes used to categorize a book by its subject

Book Copy – the written description of a book that usually appears on the back cover or inside flap of the physical book

CIP Data – Cataloging in Publication Record Data; a record prepared by the Library of Congress that allows libraries and book dealers to process, catalog, and place the book

Copyright Permissions – the legal right to the ownership of original content

Distribution – the release of published works to warehouses, catalogs, and markets that will sell the materials to retailers

Flyleaf – a page in a book that is purposefully left blank

Ghostwriter – a person who is contracted to write or co-write a written work, often without credit on the cover

ISBN – International Standard Book Number; the unique 13-digit ID number assigned to new books that are necessary to accurately catalog and track book sales

Layout/Design – the arrangement of the graphic elements in a printed book

Location Numbers – the numbers on the back of a book that tell you where the book is located in the warehouse

Manuscript – the original work of the author

Metadata – basic information about a book such as the title, author, ISBN, publication date, etc.

Mockups – the model design for a book before it goes to print

Plagiarism – using someone else’s previously written work without attributing it to them

Press Release – the written announcement about the release of a book

Proof – the final version of the manuscript before being printed

Release Date – the official date upon which a book will be available for purchase

Review Copies – printed copies of a book that are sent out to receive commentary and critical reviews before the book is officially released to the public

Revisions – the changes made to the original text of a written work

Smartsheet – an online application used to keep track of what needs to be done during the publishing process

Title Page – the page that lists the title, subtitle, and author of a book, as well as the publisher information

Track Changes – a feature in Microsoft Word which is used to track the changes and edits made to a document by both the author and the editor

As you can imagine, there’s way more publishing terminology than we can provide in this brief post. If you’d like to learn more about the publishing world, feel free to check out our book Book Publishing 101: Inside Information to Getting Your First Book or Novel Published.

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