A look at an author’s world…

This from Thomas Christensen’s Tom’s Glossary of Book Publishing Terms, via Elizabeth Moon. This is just a taste from this delicious website. See more here.
Some of this is so true, it hurts!

ADVANCE: A secret code signalling to the marketing department whether or not to promote a title.

AUTHOR: A large class of individuals (approximately three times as numerous as readers) serving a promotional function in book marketing or providing make-work for editorial interns.

BEST SELLER: A book purchased for display.

BLURB*: A brief noise that embarrasses everyone.

BOOK DISTRIBUTION: An elaborate system testing the commitment of readers by making sure they cannot obtain specific books too easily.

DEADLINE: An item that exists to be renegotiated and revised. In his famous paradox, the Greek philosopher Zeno proved that deadlines can never be met.

DISTRIBUTOR: An annoying apparatus that is always out of tune, causing sluggish performance.

DUST JACKET: An ephemeral object without which a first edition becomes worthless to collectors.

FANTASY: An author’s sales aspirations.

LEAD: A heavy metal that thuds when dropped. Used in the expression “Our lead title this season is luminous and compelling.”

LITERATURE: Designation applied to titles judged unsaleable.

MAINSTREAM FICTION: The pretense that there is a group of readers who can be reached through writing that is sufficiently unspecific as to exclude no one.

PUBLICATION DATE (PUB DATE): A sliding holiday based on the phases of the moon.

TRADE PAPERBACKS: What readers do instead of purchasing new books.

*usually used to describe the description of the book on the back cover or dust jacket


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