Publishing Terms Indie Authors Need to Know: Self-Publishing Glossary

Like any industry, the publishing and self-publishing markets use their own lingo. And the technologies of digital publishing have actually introduced a vast variety of terms, expressions, and idioms into the English language over the past twenty years. Today, the Alliance of Independent Authors AskALLi team brings you an excerpt from their Self-Publishing Glossary which is planned to help authors who are self-publishing a book by offering a precise and accessible set of definitions for the terms usually utilized in our sector.

Publishing Terms Indie Authors Need to Know: The Why

Publishing Terms Indie Authors Need to Know:.

author platform.

recommendation quotes.


A short bio that may consist of a summary of books composed, interests, and achievements.

ALLi associate subscription.


An author platform offers the ability to sell books and enables the ideal readers, and others, to find and understand what the author does and what to anticipate from their books. An author platform has 3 elements: who the author is, what they state, and who they can reach.

compare: hybrid publishing, indie author.

ALLi service that monitors the practices of business and individuals in the self-publishing services sector.


A term sometimes used to explain an author who utilizes both trade-publishing and self-publishing services.






ALLi authorpreneur member.



passive earnings.

end matter.

A proprietary link-analysis algorithm developed by Google to appoint a mathematical score to each file in a set of hypertext files based on the number of referring links. The algorithm likewise considers the rank of the referring page; hence a link from a high-ranking page counts more than a link from a low-ranking page.


ALLi project that pledges to respond to any self-publishing question that any private or company might have. Includes a podcast, email service, blog site, and this book. See resources list for more.

author brand name.

helped publishing/assisted self-publishing.

A structure that gives leverage and presence to an author and their books. An author platform offers the capability to sell books and enables the best readers, and others, to discover and understand what the author does and what to get out of their books. An author platform has three elements: who the author is, what they say, and who they can reach.

Publishing Terms Indie Authors Need to Know: ALLi Terminology.

mass-market paperback.

Short evaluations of a book written by a widely known author, expert, or personality in a genre/niche. Recommendations can be positioned on the front or back cover, or in the introductory pages of the book, and used for marketing purposes.

Paper glued to the within a hardbound case, which likewise ends up being the very first (unprinted) interior page of the book. Standard endsheets are white, however they can be colored or printed.

author collaboration.

In publishing terms, exclusivity is an agreement or agreement term that binds you entirely to a single self-publishing service, trade publisher, or retailer. Ought to only be agreed in exchange for significant benefits.The one that requires to move on: Vanity publishing (press).

marketing strategy.

The author is still the rights holder and licencer. Its a sales commision, a percentage of the payment cost of each book.

author comps.


see: back matter.

An expert critics opinion of a book released online or in a periodical.


see: personalization, customization, segmentation.



earnings income.

Note that the below is simply an excerpt of a few of the terms in the glossary. You can get your own copy if you would like the complete glossary with all of the terms listed from A-Z.

Income not straight tied to active work. Normal passive earnings sources are front-loaded with unpaid or low-paid active work, while the bulk of the earnings comes later. Interest, dividends, and royalties are prime examples of passive earnings.

compare: hybrid author, vanity service.

Brief evaluations of a book written by a widely known author, professional, or character in the authors niche.


Author Solutions, Inc. (ASI).

Strategic plan that details the documents, activities, and deliverables required to market an author and their books.

A royalty is a specific kind of payment only made to those who trade in copyright and copyright and an important income source for authors because the Copyright Acts of the 18th century. A royalty is a portion payment in return for the right to licence a copyright. Royalties are primary source of author income in trade-publishing however self-publishers earn money through profit earnings, earnings straight derived from offering a book for a higher price than it costs to make.

Among our challenges in compiling this glossary is that releasing terms are not constantly used regularly by different authors and specialists in our field. The meanings used here represent the significances understood and shared by the majority of the international publishing and self-publishing community, and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), the professional association for self-publishing authors..

We likewise gloss the most popular self-publishing trademark name, as they too can puzzle. People utilize the word “Amazon” when they suggest the Amazon online retail store, for example, but likewise when they mean KDP (Amazons e-book publishing platform for small publishers). Or the entire multinational corporation business. Or among its other numerous departments. “Apple” is similarly confusing. Apple Books, which utilized to be iBooks, is a book brochure and online store, along with an e-book reading application, and also a content sales system providing e-books to iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. In the glossary, brand name names are capitalized to differentiate them from the other terms..

see: book brand name.

Document that consists of a default set of things like images, typefaces, and headings, utilized as a starting point when producing other documents. When similar publications have to be frequently developed, useful.


compare: author-publishing, indie author.

A group of authors who interact to utilize the abilities of the group in order to advance members publishing efforts.

A professional-looking head-and-shoulders photograph utilized for advertising purposes.


hybrid publisher/hybrid publishing.

Publishing terms can be confusing, even off-putting, for a new author in specific, but for the established author too. And for the services who have actually sprung up to help indie authors do their work.

media package.


The one we need to understand better: Royalty.

A vanity press operating under a variety of imprints which warrants warn.

likewise: joint endeavor.

Arrangement from a copyright holder that allows the recreation or publication of copyrighted material. The process of protecting arrangements from a copyright holder.

Publishing terminology can be confusing, even off-putting, for a new author in particular, however for the established author too. Authors show a site badge “I am an ethical author” and services agree to being vetted by the ALLi watchdog desk.


consists of: hybrid publishing, collaboration publishing, subsidized publishing.

The removal of intermediaries from a supply chain or deal series. In self-publishing, it refers to the removal of agents, publishers, wholesalers and others from writer-to-reader supply and transaction.

ALLi project motivating and educating about best practices in self-publishing. Consists of a code of standards for self-publishing services and indie authors, showing their support for the principle of putting readers. Authors display a site badge “I am an ethical author” and services consent to being vetted by the ALLi guard dog desk.

Membership program for self-publishing services that accept a code of requirements and to being vetted for approval.




Authors officially interacting, under a contract, to mutual benefit. Authors have always collaborated to write however author cooperation is a new and growing motion in publishing.

An email service that sends out an automatic action to inbound e-mails, which assists to reduce the amount of manual replies required.

Bibliographic information about a book including title, authors name, book description, ISBN, publisher, genre category, publication date, and cost.

Collection of associated electronic pages (websites), generally formatted in HTML and found at a single address where the server computer is recognized by a given host name.



Smaller sized, less costly version of a book that is generally printed well after the hardcover and trade paperback versions have been offered.

author– publisher.

British and Commonwealth tax term representing items or services that are taxable for VAT (worth added tax), but with a tax rate of zero.

A bundle of key details to send out to media or reporters, sellers, book blog writers, event planners, editors, or anybody who plans on blogging about an author and their book. May consist of an author photo and bio, a book cover image, a complete summary, a one-sentence description, book details, regularly asked concerns, an excerpt, and media or reviews protection.

Ethical Self-Publishing.


ALLi author membership.


Entrepreneurial author– publisher who runs an effective business, by internationally exploiting their own rights through a range of platforms and formats.


see: service designs, royalties, commissions.

A typical e-book file format.


A section or chapter at the end of a book that remarks on or reasons about what has taken place or been discussed within the text.


A word or phrase instantly preceded by the # symbol. When you click a hashtag, you see other social media updates consisting of the very same keyword or subject.

The most disrespectful: Slush stack.

author cooperative/collective.


Terms that have more than a single meaning have numbered meanings, starting with the most common and continuing to the more obscure. As a directing principle, when in doubt, we have chosen over-defining.

no rating.

ALLi partner member.

Another term for independent self-publishing by authors.

An author who self-publishes for earnings. May likewise publish other authors.

The 6th procedure in the 7 processes of publishing, being focused sales-driven activity behind a specific book for a specific time period. Promotion takes one book and brings it to its target readers, with temptation to purchase.

Membership program for authors making their living from associated and self-publishing service. This membership is examined– authors require to show evidence of 50,000 book sales in the previous 2 years and/or KU or service equivalent.

Profit income is obtained by selling an item (e.g. a book) for a greater price than it costs to make. Revenue income is the primary source of earnings for self-publishing authors, the amount left over after the costs of the 7 processes of releasing a book, or the costs of producing another item, task or service, have actually been covered.

editorial review.

author bio.

ALLi organization member.


Typically, this described any publishing service that charged a cost now that authors are in buisness, and commonly working with publishing services, the term is utilized for exploitative services which trade on authors imagine publication, with excessively high costs, subpar service, and often the pretence that they are trade publishing houses. Outstanding author services still discover themselves tarred with the “vanity press” brush.The one that people like to state to sound knowledgeable: Disintermediation.



Developing a promotional project to appeal to a section of readers based upon their specific category, specific niche, or interests.

Membership program for other author organizations who desire to avail of ALLis expertise in self-publishing.

social media: #askalli.




see: bibliographic information, classifications, keywords.

ALLi watchdog desk.

The glossary, like all ALLi books, is available for direct purchase in the Self-Publishing Advice Center bookshop in ebook, print and, where readily available, audio editions. ALLi members are entitled to a complimentary download of this book and all ALLi publications, in ebook format. Visit to the member zone and browse to Advice– > Short Guides.

: review.

hybrid author.



A publishing contract that binds an author solely to one self-publishing service, trade publisher, or retailer.



PageRank ™.

A book permanently available free of charge from online retailers; a technique utilized to increase presence and acquire brand-new readers by distributing a book, frequently the first in a series. Also used by affiliate online marketers or associated product promoters.






The derogatory term for the unsolicited manuscripts sent by authors to conventional publishers for consideration. The term that best summarize the elitist and vital mindset of the traditional publishing market towards authors. Tough to envision any other company that would refer to its suppliers in this way.

: press set.



Membership program for authors preparing their first book for self-publication. Likewise students of imaginative writing, multimedia, or publishing with an interest in author-publishing.





Umbrella term for all companies that supply individualized publishing services to authors for a fee. Authors shopping in this sector requirement to work out care.


see: algorithm.

Subscription program for authors who have actually released several books of 50,000+ words in length or equivalent, e.g. a number/series of shorter books, or childrens books.


likewise: independent author, indie author, micro-publishers.

see: comparables.



The intent throughout is to define and explain terms in as plain language as possible. Some definitions are tentative as self-publishing is a fairly brand-new field. Meanings will progress as the field, and authors publishing and innovative company understanding and competence, progress.

compare: blurb.

compare: go large.

Bibliographic information about a book consisting of title, authors name, book description, ISBN, publisher, genre category, publication date, and cost. This instantly feeds into different information systems, including publishing brochures and stock lists, and is passed on to the rest of the trade including consumers. Consists of information to enhance discoverability in online search, including keywords– words that somebody might type into search engines when looking for a book.

see: marketing, publishing.

A constant message and representation of identity and image that helps readers to connect with authors and their books.





A hybrid publisher supplies a mix of trade-publishing and self-publishing services in the exact same contract. Hybrid publishers have extremely different organization models, methods of working with authors, and approaches to marketing and circulation however all curate the books they assist to publish. Numerous likewise use physical book shop circulation. There are ethical and reputable hybrid publishers, there are many more subpar services that have turned to a hybrid publishing model, often as a way of camouflaging exploitative vanity press operations.


Publishing Terms Indie Authors Need to Know: The Five Most Controversial Terms.

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