A literary agent works with traditional publishing houses and helps writers get their stories published and sold in bookshops or online.

(content commissioning)
An assignment (or content commissioning) is an expression used when delegating content creation in exchange for a fee.

(Book Bidding)
A glossary also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions

Author copies
Author copies are copies of a book given by the publisher to the author free of charge. In the contract between the author and publisher

Average Word Count
Average word count refers to the length of a book and, more precisely, the number of words typical for a specific genre.

An Advance Reader Copy (ARC) is an unpublished version of a book that authors send to reviewers and book buyers before the official release date.


A backlist is a publisher's books that are still in print but have been on the market for at least a year. This is opposed to newly-published titles, which are known as the frontlist.

Back Matter
The back matter of a book refers to the sections or elements that appear at the end of the book after the main content (or the body of the book)


A bio is a paragraph about the author that usually includes credentials, hobbies, or any other relevant information that an author wants to share with the reader.

Bimonthly refers to a periodical produced twice a month or every two months. Yes, it has both meanings, and yes, the memes you may have accidentally stumbled across are correct. 

A blurb is a short book description found on the back cover. It's meant to engage the reader through a short, catchy text that is descriptive, informative, and intriguing.

A boilerplate is any written text you can reuse in various contexts with little change to the original. The term is mainly used in communication and marketing

Book Advance
A book advance represents the sum of money an author is paid in advance by the publisher to have the necessary funding to finalize their work.

Book Category
In publishing terms, category is a broad term that refers to general aspects of the book's audience and content. Categories are shelf headings that orient the library readers

Bound Galley
A bound galley, galley copy, or galley proof is your book's final pre-production version. They are created and printed mainly for editors, proofreaders, and authors.  

A byline is a short line placed between the headline and the body text telling the author’s name. This is mainly related to magazine and article publishing.

BISAC codes, developed by the Book Industry Study Group, help categorize books. They are part of your book’s metadata and tell retailers, libraries, sellers, buyers, and search engines

Book Design
Book design refers to the cover art and the book's layout. Each of them is very important for the success of the book. The cover attracts the reader's attention, but the layout is what keeps them engaged while reading.


A chapbook is a small publication, referred to as a pamphlet in the UK, that typically contains poems, ballads, stories, or religious tracts, and is usually no more than 40 pages long. 

Circulation is the average number of copies of a publication per publishing day. The circulation figures can differ from the copies sold, called paid circulation because not all readers buy a copy to read it.

"Clips" is another word for writing samples. The term "clips" refer to "clippings," which means a piece of a writer's work "clipped" from a publication (short stories, article, etc.). 

Comp titles
Comp titles, also known as comparison titles, are similar books in content to the one you are writing. It can also mean they're comparable in expected sale rates.

Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects original works such as books, poems, blog posts, movies, architectural works, plays, musical compositions, etc.,

A co-author collaborates with the [lead] author and contributes to both research and manuscript. They share responsibility as well as accountability for the work delivered

Co-publishing is an agreement where an author and a (usually small) publisher share a book's publication costs and profits.

Copy editing
Copy editing is the final step in the writing process before publication. Copy editing means improving the text to be coherent while maintaining

Cover letter 
A cover letter is an introductory letter to publishers. The letter offers them sufficient details about your work, unpublished content, and yourself.  

Critique service
The manuscript critique service is a general assessment of your manuscript regarding plot, characters, and style. This service is performed by highly experienced, published authors or professionals




A description summarizes a book's content to give readers a glimpse into what the book is about. Some authors place the description on 

Book distributors work with publishers and sell titles directly to retailers, bookstores, and libraries. 



A book editor is responsible for the quality of the manuscript by checking the words, punctuation, grammar, and overall story.

Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a teaser of your book that convinces people to publish or buy it. But there’s a trick: an elevator pitch needs to be very short

Endcap is a term used in retail marketing to refer to products at the end of the aisle. This location offers a competitive advantage 

An exclusive is a situation where an author or agent makes an offer to a particular publishing house before sending the manuscript to anyone else. 




Fair Use
Fair use refers to the possibility of limited use of copyrighted material, but only in some instances, such as for criticism, parody, news reporting, research, or teaching.

Refers to in-depth, comprehensive content typically encountered in a magazine, newspaper, or online platform. Distinguished from news articles or opinion pieces....

Filler is a term for content that takes up space in a publication, such as a magazine, newspaper, or online platform, without providing substantial value or depth to the reader.

Film Rights
Film rights allow a person from the film industry to turn a book into a movie. Those rights are sold by the agent or author of the book.

Foreign Rights
Foreign Rights represent the right to publish a book in its original language but in countries other than that in which the book was originally published.

A frontlist is a collection of newly published titles available at the beginning of the year. 

Front Matter
Front matter refers to pages or sections that appear at the beginning of a book before the main content. It includes various elements that provide essential information about the book.




A genre refers to a category of literature that determines what an author writes and how they write it. Book genres describe the style...

A ghostwriter is a person hired to write a book that will be published under another author. They can also work as freelancers who write blog posts... 

Graphic Novel
Graphic novels are books published in strip format with length, plot, and character development similar to regular novels...


High Concept 
A high-concept story is a clear, easy-to-communicate premise that makes the book effortless to pitch. High-concept books have stories that rely on a concept or main idea rather than a style.

The term hi-lo stands for high interest with a lower reading level and refers to books that engage the readers through simple vocabulary, short chapters, and captivating plots.

In the publishing industry, a hook is an element in a book, story, or article that grabs the reader's attention and keeps them engaged. It is the component that sparks interest...

Hybrid Publishing
Hybrid publishing is a type of business model that helps indies cover some of the publishing costs. Authors pay an upfront fee to a hybrid press that publishes...




An imprint refers to a brand or trade name under which a publisher releases a specific category or line of books. 

Independent Press
An independent press, known as an indie press or small press, is a publishing house that operates... 

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a unique numerical identifier assigned... 


Joint Contract
In book publishing, a joint contract is an agreement between a publisher and two or more authors to collaborate on a book project. 




Keywords are the words that describe the content of a book. They are part of the book description, which is part of the book metadata. 

Kill Fee
A kill fee is a predetermined payment made to a writer when the publisher or editor cancels an assigned article or piece of work before publication. 


Lead Time
Lead time refers to the period between an editor's acquisition of a manuscript and its actual publication. 

Log Line
A log line is a concise, attention-grabbing summary of a story, typically composed of one or two sentences. 




Marketing Fee
A marketing fee is a cost that some agents may charge to cover the expenses associated with marketing and promoting a book.

Mass-Market Book
A mass-market book is a type of book that is typically produced in large quantities cheaply. They can be found in bookstores as well as retail outlets such as drugstores, supermarkets, newsstands, and airports. 

A masthead is a place in a publication that includes the names and titles of the editorial staff, such as the editor-in-chief, managing editor, section editors, writers, and contributors. 

A memoir is autobiographical writing that focuses on a specific period or theme of a person's life. It explores the author's memories...

Metadata refers to the information about your book used by online stores, bookstores, and readers. It includes the author's name, title, subtitle...


Middle-Grade Literature
Middle-Grade literature is a distinct classification of books written with a target audience of readers aged 9 to 11. 

Midlist Books
Midlist is a term used in the publishing industry to describe books that fall between bestsellers and lesser-known titles. 

Model Release
A model release is a legal document that grants permission to use a person's features in photographs, videos, or other materials.

Multiple Contracts
Multiple contracts refer to a situation in which an author has agreements with various publishers, agents, or platforms for different works or projects.

Multiple Submissions
Multiple submissions refer to submitting a creative work, such as a manuscript, article, or short story, to more than one publisher.




Narrative Nonfiction
Narrative nonfiction is a literary genre that blends the factual elements of nonfiction writing with the storytelling techniques of fiction. 

A novella is a written work of fiction that falls between a short story and a novel in terms of length and complexity. 



On Spec Manuscript
An "on spec" manuscript refers to a written work that an author has completed without a guaranteed publishing contract or prior agreement with a publisher.

Option Clause 
An option clause in a book publishing contract grants a publisher the right to publish the author's next work before other publishers can bid on it.


Pen Name
A pen name, also known as a pseudonym or a nom de plume, is a fictitious name used by an author to conceal their real identity when publishing a  written work.

Picture Book
A picture book is designed primarily for young children, typically aged between 2 and 8 years old. Picture books use illustrations to tell a story

Print-on-demand (POD) is a publishing model in which books or other printed materials are printed only when an order is received

Proofreading is the process of checking for errors in a text before being published. It is the very last stage in text reviewing before publishing.

A proposal is a comprehensive summary of a proposed book, typically submitted to a publisher for consideration.

A publisher is an individual, organization, or company responsible for producing and distributing printed or digital content to the public.

Publishing Agreement
Also referred to as an author or license agreement, a publishing agreement is a contract that becomes active once a work is published.

Publishing Consultant
Publishing consultants can be individuals or companies with experience and understanding of the publishing industry, including its trends, practices, and challenges.


Query Letters
A query letter is meant to convince an agent or editor to read and publish your work. You can send query letters when your manuscript is finalized or when you have just the book's premise




Remainders refer to book copies that experience sluggish sales and can be procured from the publisher at a discounted rate.

Reporting Time
Reporting time refers to the duration it takes for an editor to respond to an author's query or manuscript submission.

Reviews are evaluations of recently published works. They present the text overview, assess strong and weak points, and appraise the style and structure.

Book royalties are how you’re paid as a published author. A royalty rate is a percentage you’d get for every copy sold based on the retail price of the book.




A self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) is an envelope provided by a sender, which includes their address and postage.

Self-publishing is the process of publishing a book by the author without the involvement of a traditional publishing house or company.

A serial refers to a print or non-print publication that is released in installments or parts. These can be comic books or serialized novels.

A short-short or microfiction, is a form of storytelling that has gained popularity in recent years. These brief but impactful tales typically range from 100 to 1,500 words.

A sidebar is a short text in a book, newspaper, or magazine that complements the main text. Some sidebars may include images, charts, or other graphic elements.

Slush Pile
The slush pile is a collection of unsolicited manuscripts and pitches that editors, publishers, or literary agents receive.

A subagent is working closely with literary agents, authors, and foreign publishers to facilitate the sale of foreign and translation rights for books.  

A summary is a concise, informative overview of a piece of content, be it a book, article, or report, Often used in promotional materials, reviews...

A book synopsis is a summary of your novel from start to finish. It's part of a book proposal and includes an outline of the main plot, main characters, plot twists, and the ending.


Table of Contents
A table of contents (TOC) lists the chapters, sections, or other major divisions of a written work, along with their respective page numbers.

A tearsheet is a page or set of pages taken from a printed publication, such as a magazine or newspaper, which features an author's work, an advertisement, or an article.

Trade Book 
A trade book is intended for general readership and is typically sold through bookstores and online retailers. Trade books are appealing to a wide audience.


Unique Selling Proposition
A Unique Selling Proposition (USP) refers to a book or author's distinctive feature or benefit that sets it apart from other books or authors in the same genre or category.




Vanity Press
Vanity Press is a publishing model in which an author pays to have their work published rather than having a traditional publishing house finance and handle the publication process.




Work for Hire
Work for hire is a type of agreement in which an author is hired to create a book, article, or other written material in exchange for a flat fee.




Young Adult Literature
Young Adult (YA) is a literature genre for teenagers and young adults, typically between the ages of 12 to 18.




A zine is a self-published work intended for small circulation featuring original works or texts, usually reproduced by a copy machine.




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