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Saturday, August 27, 2011

TOPIC: Writing Terms (part 3)

This is part 3 in my series on writing terms, with particular attention to terms used by published authors and publishers.

The Call – receiving a phone call or email from an editor asking to buy your book
advance – a percentage of the money paid to the author by a publisher prior to publication of the book; advances are paid against future royalties, and are paid back to the publisher once the book starts earning royalties
royalties - the percentage of the cover price of a book paid to the author; only paid after the book has earned out and are usually paid on a monthly or quarterly basis
cover quote – quote provided by an author or reviewer that appears on the cover of a book
back cover blurb – the brief outline of the story on the back cover of a book
cover copy – the front, back and inner cover content sent to an author by an editor, usually to check for errors
proposal – a short summary of a book not yet written
outline – a list of short sentences that describe the major ideas in a book synopsis - a summary of a story told in present tense which can be anything from a page to multiple pages long
vanity publishing – a form of publishing where the author pays to have their work published
traditional publishing – work printed in book format by a publisher
e-publishing – electronic publishing
self publishing – a type of publishing where the author publishes their own work
deadline – due date of a contracted piece of work
galley – initial typeset of a manuscript sent to the author for checking before it’s printed
line or copy edits – errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and word usage that need to be corrected by the author
beta reader – someone who reads the author’s work with a view to spotting errors or making suggestions for improving the work


  1. Great post Kylie,

    I only wish I'd found a site like yours all those years ago...many many years ago LOL!

  2. Cover flat - and no that's not a cover that's flopped :)

  3. Ahh, one I haven't heard of - thanks, Helene!

  4. Thanks, Mel, gauging by the pageviews, this series on Writing Terms has proved popular (even if very few comments have been left!). Glad they're helping someone!