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ABI. Advance Book Information (form). The form sent to R. R. Bowker with information on a new title or changes in an old one for inclusion in Books In Print.

Advance Reading Copy. A copy of the book issued prior to publication date and sent to reviewers, influential individuals who may be asked for testimonials, or influential booksellers to familiarize them with the book before it appears for sale. Response to the ARC may affect the size of the initial print run. The cover will bear the statement “Advance Reading Copy” (or something that indicates it is not the final version), and the back cover commonly carries the publication information that will also be included in the media kits, etc., that go out later. [See also Galley and Blad.]

Aqueous coating. Water-based coating applied like ink by a printing press to protect and enhance the printed surface.

Back matter. The third division of the book and contains any Appendices, Notes, Reference section, Glossary, Bibliography, Index, etc., and Colophon if desired. (The text itself is the middle part; the Front matter is the first.)

Backlist. Books published more than a few years ago that sell without being actively promoted.

Bar code. The symbol placed on the back of the book, capable of being read by an optical scanner, to provide a specific set of information about the item bearing the code.

BEA. Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in the United States. The American Booksellers Association formerly ran the show, known as the ABA, prior to selling the exposition several years ago.

Binding. The means of holding the signatures of a book together. Bindings may be glue (perfect or a hybrid process such as Otabind or Rep-Kover) or a mechanical means such as wire, plastic comb (PVC), or ring binder (notebook).

BISAC. The Book Industry Study Advisory Committee. This committee aims at developing standards in practices and forms to facilitate communication and transmission of information within the industry.

BISG. Book Industry Study Group Inc. Located at 160 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010. Phone: 212-929-1393; Fax: 212-989-7542.

Blad. An alternative to a galley [see Galley] or complete review copy. In his 10001 Ways to Market Your Book, John Kremer suggests sending a blad of an expensive, full-color book. He says, “A blad is a cover of the book with ‘Advanced Book Information’ and the book’s publication date and specifications stripped in. Inside the cover, place the flap copy, a table of contents, and some sample pages.” If the reviewer is intrigued by this and wants to see more, then a galley or review copy can be sent.

Bleed. Printed image which extends beyond the trim edge of the sheet or page.

Blueline. Prepress photographic proof made from stripped negatives where all colors show as shades of a single color on white paper. Also called brownline, silverprint, Dylux®.

Book packager. A person or (or company) who can handle the editing, page design and layout, front and back covers, pagesetting, and prepress production for a publisher. In some instances, a book packager may also be charged with the task of finding an author for a specified subject.

Brochure. A piece of printed material used to describe a book, event, or other item. Customarily it has more than one page (sheet).

Camera-ready. The term used to describe material prepared for “shooting.” Much printing now is done by the photo-offset process, which uses a big camera for producing film used for the printing plates.

Case, case binding, case bound. Case (or properly, cased) binding is used with sewn signatures in cloth binding.

CIP. Cataloging in Publication has an extensive discussion of this area.

Cloth, cloth binding, clothbound. One type of binding for hardcover books. (Leather or other material is sometimes used to cover books as well. The signatures in some clothbound books are actually stitched (Smythe sewn) together before the binding is applied.

Coating, aqueous. See Aqueous coating

Coating, UV. See UV coating.

Color separations. The four-color negatives or positives which are the result of changing full color photos or art into the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key) - CMYK) by the use of filters.

Comb bind. To bind by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb through holes punched along the edge of a stack of paper.

Composite film. The film composed of the CMYK separations.

Content Editor. Adjusts flow and organization, refines word choices and phrasing. This is sometimes called Substantive Editing.

Copyeditor. Corrects punctuation, grammar and style consistency. (Style isn’t about hemlines, it is the particular standards, spellings, capitalization, etc., your company or publication adheres to so that you can present professional publications.) This is sometimes called mechanical editing.

Corporation. A type of business organization in which the business becomes a legal entity.

Cover. A book’s outside skin. Book covers are classed as “hard” or “soft.” The type of cover affects the kind of binding used.

Database. A collection of information that can be organized and sorted to extract specific material. A telephone directory is an example of material extracted from phone service orders placed with a phone company. Such a directory doesn’t need to include the date an individual became a customer, or the type of service ordered, or any other information elicited at the initiation of service. A database program enables a user to collect and organize information.

Desktop publishing. The capability of producing camera-ready copy for publications (flyers, newsletters, etc.) by means of personal computer, appropriate computer programs (software) and printer. The term “desktop” implies, with considerable accuracy, that much or all of the work of producing a publication could be done by a single person in a single office with two pieces of physical equipment (computer and printer) that sit on a desk or tabletop.

Direct mail. The shortened term for direct mail marketing, where sales materials aim directly at the prospective end user, or individual book buyer.

Direct marketing. Marketing done directly to the prospective end user, or individual book buyer, usually in mail solicitations. The seller bypasses wholesalers and distributors. Direct marketing targets highly specific groups, and thus requires carefully-built mailing lists.

Distributor. A middle point between the publisher and booksellers. The distinction between a distributor and a wholesaler sometimes tends to blur. Generally speaking, a distributor carries a smaller number of titles than does the wholesaler and commonly produces a catalog used by its sales force which works directly with book buyers for stores.

Double wire binding. A type of mechanical binding using wire shaped into double wire loops going through perforations in the paper. Its advantage over spiral binding is its greater durability.

Editorial Calendar. A magazine publisher’s schedule of the forthcoming issues, outlining the particular focus (e.g., regional, special, topical focus), review section, and other issues of concern. The publication’s marketing department is involved as it will seek to secure appropriate advertising for the issue. The calendar will also note deadlines for space reservations and material due. The Editorial Calendar is not to be confused with the Publishing Calendar used by distributors or the Publishing Schedule used by publishers in book production.

End sheet. Sheet that attaches the inside pages of a case bound book to its cover.

Face. See Typeface.

F & G's. Folded, gathered & trimmed signatures with the cover; basically the book is printed but not bound.

Flier, flyer. A single sheet of material usually printed front and back for descriptive (advertising) purposes.

FOB or F.O.B. FOB means “free on board” — free of any additional claims by the shipper to the point specified; it is a delivery term. The precise definition will vary from state to state, but basically, it is used in one of two ways. If in the agreement regarding goods that are to be shipped, (FOB the place of shipment), the seller must at that place ship the goods in the manner provided in this division and bear the expense and risk of putting them into the possession of the carrier -- or more succinctly, the seller pays for the shipping. If the FOB (shipping point) means you pay the freight and take ownership at the shipping point; FOB (destination) means the shipper pays the freight (although they may charge you for the freight and “handling”) and ownership does not pass to you until it reaches the destination. The ownership issue is often more important, since it establishes who is responsible for filing (and receiving payment on) a freight loss and damage claim, should one occur.

Font. A given typeface in a particular size.

Font, display. A type face that is better used for captions, headlines, chapter headings and the like.

Font, sans-serif. An unornamented font such as Helvetia, Optima, Arial. Any type style that does not have cross-strokes on the ends of the letters.

Font, text. A type face that is well-suited for the body text of a book or magazine. Generally these should not be a sans-serif face. Several that are appropriate are Times (and its numerous related variations), Palatino, Bookman, Century Schoolbook (and its variations), Goudy, Galliard, Bembo.

Front matter. All the pages up to the beginning of the text proper. Included are the half-title page; the verso (back) of the half-title page; the title page; on the verso of the title page is the copyright page; the dedication, if any; and the Table of Contents.

Frontlist. The newly-produced publications of a publisher.

Fulfillment. The filling of orders placed. Fulfillment may be done by the publisher in house, by the distributor or by a third-party offering the service. The neophyte publisher will usually fulfil the orders sent directly.

Galley. A copy of a book’s page layouts. Reviewers expecting galleys do not expect to see illustrations that might be in the book. Copies of camera-ready copy may be comb-bound (PVC) or a version that is essentially a replica of the finished book. Costs run about $10 per copy. See Production Issues for suppliers.

Gate-folded cover. A type of paperback cover where the cover is larger (wider) than the body of the book, and the surplus folds inward, rather like a dust jacket. This gives greater strength to the cover. In an RFQ, describe it as a perfect bound book with extended scored flaps on covers 1 and 4.

Hard cover. The cover of a book that is heavier and more rigid than the light card stock used for soft cover books. The cover will extend slightly beyond the cut edges of the text pages, whereas soft cover books have cover and text pages cut flush. Various materials are used, and a paper wrapper, or dust jacket, may also be used to protect the cover.

ISBN. The International Standard Book Number. The ISBN is to a book what your social security number is to you. Every book, every form (paper or cloth) of a book, every edition has its own ISBN that serves as its identifier. Hyphens are important: the four divisions of an ISBN identify the language of the book, the publisher, and the title itself. The final digit is a check number linked with the third group.

Jobber. Jobbers generally do not stock books but buy directly when they get an order from a customer (usually a library).

Justified text. The alignment of the text so that the outer edge presents an even look. Justified right, or fully justified, text gives a smooth edge on both ends of the line. See Ragged right.

Keylines, keylined text, keylining. The intermediate stage between typesetter and printer. Printed text and graphics are placed on page forms, ready for printing. Formerly, the typesetter prepared copy (sections of printed copy and illustrations) printed in long strips that were then cut and pasted in place on boards that were photographed (photo-offset) for printing production. Desktop page layout programs have essentially eliminated this stage.

Kivar. A proprietary product (cloth) used for hard cover books.

Laminate. To bond a plastic film by heat and pressure to a printed sheet for protection and appearance.

Lay-flat binding. A special process to allow a soft-cover book to fully open and lay flat (so it doesn’t snap shut).

Lay-flat cover. Cover is made from a paper stock that is treated to lay flat (not curl).

Leaf. One sheet of paper in a publication. Each side of a leaf is one page.

Letterpress. A method of printing where the wrong-reading raised surface of a printing plate is inked and impressed directly onto the paper. There are four types of letterpress presses: platen, flatbed cylinder, rotary and belt.

Library of Congress Card Number (LCCN). Issued by the Library of Congress for their cataloging purposes.

List-server, mailing list, listserv. An automatic mailing list server developed by Eric Thomas for BITNET in 1986. When e-mail is addressed to a list-server mailing list, it is automatically broadcast to everyone on the list. The result is similar to a newsgroup or forum, except that the messages are transmitted as e-mail and are therefore available only to individuals on the list. LISTSERV is currently a commercial product marketed by L-Soft International. Although LISTSERV refers to a specific mailing list server, the term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to any mailing list server. Another popular mailing list server is Majordomo, which is freeware. Others include Lyris.

Magenta. One of the three subtractive primary colors used in process printing. It’s also known as process red.

Mailing List Server. A server that manages mailing lists for groups of users. Two of the most popular mailing list server systems for the Internet are Listserv and Majordomo.

Makeready. The process of setting up and adjusting a printing press for a particular ink, paper and set of printing conditions prior to a press run. Also, the paper used during these adjustments.

Margin. The blank space around the image area of a page, also referred to as a gutter. Also is the term for the difference between costs and income; obviously a wide margin is also hoped for there.

Mass market. A very large general market or audience. Titles for the mass market are expected to sell in great quantities (press runs in the tens and hundreds of thousands) quickly.

Matte finish. A non-glossy finish.

Mechanical binding. Bindings using wire, staples or plastic.

Mechanical Editing. See Copyeditor.

Mechanicals. The artwork for a book.

Midlist. A title that has been out some time. Previous books by an author and which may or may not be still in print are midlist titles.

Newsgroup. Same as forum, an on-line discussion group. On the Internet, there are literally thousands of newsgroups covering every conceivable interest. To view and post messages to a newsgroup, you need a news reader, a program that runs on your computer and connects you to a news server on the Internet.

Notch binding. A binding process where the spines are not cut from the signatures and instead notches are cut down each spine and with sigs still intact, the cover is glued on.

Offset printing. Usually refers to offset lithography. The image prints by transferring ink from a flat plate or cylinder to a rubber blanket that deposits the ink onto the substrate instead of directly from plate to paper.

Opacity. Characteristic of paper or other substrate that prevents print on one side from showing through to the other side. Also characteristic of ink that prevents the substrate from showing through.

Otabind (TM). A binding process for trade paperbacks that resembles perfect binding (it has a printable spine) but allows a book to be opened out flat.

Out-of-print. Publishers declare books out-of-print generally when they have run out of stock of the title and don’t intend to reprint.

Overrun. Copies printed and/or bound in excess of the specified quantity. A 10% margin in either direction is not uncommon.

Page-layout program. A computer program enabling a designer to plan the layout of the pages of a flyer, brochure, or whatever. The designer can add and manipulate graphic elements as well as text.

Paper Stocks

  • 50# White or crème paper (uncoated stock about the same as 20# bond paper)
  • 70# White paper (uncoated stock about 20% heavier than 50# paper)

Specialty papers available only from Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia warehouse only—required minimum printing.

Partnership, limited. Type of business structure. A partnership in which the limited partners share in the partnership’s liability only up to the amount of their investment in the limited partnership.

PDF. Portable Document Format. A format for use on the World Wide Web. The file retains page layout, color, graphics, and typography of the original document and can be viewed on-screen or printed using either viewer, Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Exchange.

Perfect binding. A common binding for paperback books. Glue applied to the trimmed spines of the signatures holds the cover to the book. This is generally the least expensive means of binding a book of half-inch or greater thickness. The term purportedly comes from one of the developers of the technique who declared it to be just “perfect!”

Pica. Unit of measure commonly used in typesetting and design. A pica is one-sixth of an inch.

PMS. Pantone Matching System; one of several color-matching systems devised to insure consistency and agreement on color between original artwork and printed reproduction.

POD. Print On Demand. A current stocking technique of printing only as many books as are needed at the moment. It is a way of managing (keeping down) inventory, as well as a means of keeping content current.

Point. Unit of measurement commonly used to specify type sizes. There are 12 points in a pica and 72 points in an inch.

PPI. Pages per inch; papers vary in thickness. The PPI count affects the thickness of the book.

Preassigned Card Number. See Library of Congress Card Number (LCCN).

Prepress. Camera work, color separating, stripping, platemaking and other functions performed by the printer, separator or service bureau prior to the actual printing. The prepress work is some of what goes into the makeready work of the printer.

Prepress service bureau. Shop specializing in preparing computer data for printing. A service bureau can also optically scan non-textual material such as photographs or art work, translating them into computer code for reproduction in a publication. Usually a bureau can then produce camera-ready work.

Preproduction expenses. Expenses incurred before a book is produced. Generally this includes research, manuscript preparation (e.g., typing), editing, acquiring desired illustrations, et cetera. Some include cover design expenses here, rather than in actual production expenses.

Press. In book manufacturing, two types of presses are generally used. One, the so-called sheet-fed press, is more commonly used for short-run jobs, as the sheets are fed into the press rather like in a copier (this is a gross under description, but should suffice). The web-fed, or web presses run the paper from huge rolls, and generally at a high speed. Metropolitan newspapers are commonly printed on web-fed presses; often one sees pictures of them in operation. They are appropriate means of printing books in runs of 5,000 copies or more.

Press check. When a customer is at the printing press as the press begins to print his or her job, in order to approve the job as it is printed. A press check can last a few minutes or several days, depending on the size of the job.

Press release. The piece sent to the media (“press”) announcing an event. It answers the traditional five “W's” — who, what, where, when, and why, and perhaps how. The proper form includes the name of a contact person and phone number and a stated release time (For Immediate Release; To Be Released after x date). This calls for journalistic writing, where the most important items come first. The text should be double-spaced.

Print run. Number of copies to be printed ordered.

Production expenses. Expenses of production generally include typesetting, keylining (if necessary), printing and binding.

Promotion. As used in publishing, the root sense of this word, the “moving forward,” describes the activity of making people favorably aware of a book.

Ragged (unjustified). Type that is not justified on the right or left side.

Recto page. The right-hand or odd-numbered page of an open book or spread. (Term comes from Latin word “rectus” meaning right.)

Registration. In printing, the correct positioning of one color over another during the printing process.

RFQ. Request for quotation or bid. An RFQ is the list of specifications of desired items that is sent to a prospective vendor. The vendor in turn replies with a bid, the price(s) that would be charged for the job. Final acceptance of the response to an RFQ is essentially a contract between publisher and vendor.

Review copy. A copy of the book sent to reviewers or selected booksellers for comment (hopefully favorable) that can be used in promotional materials. The book may bear a stamp stating Review Copy. [See also Blad.] It is a complimentary copy and should be accompanied by all the pertinent marketing information. [See also Advance Reading Copy.]

Rule. A straight line of any thickness or a line used as a graphic element to separate or organize copy.

S-Corporation. A form of (American) company incorporation aimed at smaller companies.

Saddle-stitched. A form of binding that stitches thread through the gutter fold of a publication.

Sales, multiple. Sale of multiple copies of the book.

Sales, repeat. Recurring sales;
often the buyers are bookstores, wholesalers or distributors.

Sales, single. Sale of one copy of the book. Small publishers often call such orders “onesies” or “twosies.”

Sans-serif. See Font, sans-serif.

Service bureau. See Prepress service bureau.

Sheet-fed Press. See Presses.

Side Stitch. Binding by stapling through all the sheets along one edge.

Signature. A unit of counting pages for determining book size. A signature contains 8, 16 or 32 pages of the printed book. Many book printers use sheet-fed presses, that is, presses that print one large sheet at a time. The count comes from folding a sheet twice, three or four times, and trimming the edges. For printing, the printer places each keylined page in position so that when printed, folded and trimmed, pages are in proper order. For insight into the operation, fold a sheet of paper in half, and repeat the process. This gives you an 8-page signature. Mark each section as it would read in a finished book. Make sure you indicate which edge is at the top. When you have done this, open out the sheet to see where and how each page lies; note that both sides of the sheet are printed on.

Silverprint. A proof made of the negative film to ensure that all elements are accurate and in correct position before the plate is made. A variant process for the bluelines used in page proofing.

Smyth-sewn. The most durable (most expensive as well) of the cover attachment processes for hard cover book. The signatures are actually sewn before the cover is attached.

Soft cover. Refers to paperbound books with nonrigid covers. Bindings may be perfect, Otabind, or mechanical bindings using wire or plastic. See also Hard Cover.

Sole proprietorship. Single ownership. You (as the sole proprietor) can put money into the company and take it out as desired. Proprietor is responsible for reporting profits or sales taxes to the federal and state tax offices.

Specification sheet. The instructions for the type font and size for text, captions, headings, etc., and placement of captions and illustrations given to the typesetter.

Spine. The narrowest dimension of a book; the bound edge.

Spreadsheet. Term used for computer programs for manipulating numbers. It consists of a matrix of rows and columns. The intersection of a single row and column is called a cell. Information and instructions for calculations can be entered in cells.

Style sheet. Term used in desktop publishing and typesetting for the listing of the different styles used in a publication. For example, in the preparation of a book, all chapter headings (name and number of chapter) would be identified, with a name and definition of what would be used for all such headings. In page layout programs, a change in a style sheet definition is enacted immediately throughout the publication. Computer typesetting typically uses color as a part of each style’s definition when working on each section to insure every line and every sentence will be properly defined with a desired style.

Stylebook. Also called a handbook of style. A book such as the Chicago Manual of Style, where a publisher describes and illustrates the preferred way of handling all matters pertaining to the content of a book. The purpose of a stylebook is to insure consistency and correct handling. Desk dictionaries may contain a basic handbook of style.

Substantive Editing. See Content Editor.

Trade paperback. Books in paper covers that are expected to have a longer life and meet more specialized interests; they are “quality” books.

Typeface. Face or typeface refers to the style of the letter or the character of the type, in short, what it looks like.

UV coating. Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

Wholesaler. A book buyer between the publisher and the bookseller. The wholesaler buys large numbers of titles for the buyer to choose from. Distributors may buy from wholesalers.

Wire-O binding. A trade name. See Double wire binding.