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The Ultimate Glossary of Publishing Terms to Brush Up On

Everywhere in life, we come across a few fancy words that sound like special jargon you can't quite get ahold of. This is especially true for those looking to publish a book -- and although the list is long, it's easy to familiarize yourself.

Whether you're looking to self-publish, go through a company, or are looking to become an agent, then this glossary of publishing terms is the best way to know what to expect when publishing.



1) Recognition or honor given to people who have influenced the book being published or who have made a difference in the life of the author.

2) Section of a book containing such recognition.

Author Review

The phase in which the author will review cover and galley proofs and either approve for print or make revisions


To bleed means to extend outside the normal trim area of a book's page. A bleed is a bar, illustration, rule or other element that extends outside the trim area. Such elements have ink that is visible on the edge of the page in the bound book

Book Block

PDF files that comprise all book content except the cover

Book Consultant

Author’s book sales representative. Assists author with all book orders.

Book Pricing

Retail pricing based on trim size, page count, and interior format (black and white versus color)

Check In Coordinator

Representative whose job it is to evaluate all submitted materials to determine if it meets publisher qualifications. Helps author to prepare publishing materials for production and design team.

Comp Copy

First printed copy of the completed book sent to author to be reviewed for any print errors.

Content Editor

Person who edits the content (subject matter) of a book in addition to its form (sentence structure). A content editor often recommends substantive corrections to a manuscript, such as those affecting presentation, veracity, relevance and so forth.

Content Evaluation

Analysis of books content to ensure the originality of content. The content is also evaluated for any libel issues.


Ownership of intellectual property such as printed matter, protected by law. The right to copy, repurpose or publish content of the copyrighted medium.

Cover Design

Aesthetic layout on the covers of a book, usually intended to be attractive or alluring to the eye.

Cover Sign-Off

A form the author signs attesting that the cover of the book is complete and authorized to send to the printer exactly as it appears in the electronic proofs.

Design (Book and Cover)

Layout, selection of font and font size and typesetting of a book. See Cover Design.

Developmental Editor

Person who deals with the overall organization of a book's manuscript rather than with changes such as wording of sentences within paragraphs. A developmental editor also addresses reordering entire blocks of text and such an edit may extend to reordering entire chapters. The edit may also address tone, voice, addition or deletion of material, complexity of material and transitions among paragraphs and sections of the book.


Availability of book to nationwide retailers.


Company, group or individual who sells products or services to retailers instead of to consumers.


Written statement promoting the author or book. Usually listed on the cover or the front matter of the book.