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Book Production Glossary for Self-Publishers

Book Production

Below you will find Terms and Definitions regarding the production of a book.


Author/Illustrator Biography: Personal information and accomplishments of the author and/or illustrator.

Back Matter: All printed material that appears in the back of the book after the body copy. Back matter can include an afterword, an appendix, a bibliography, a colophon, a glossary, and an index. (See Books Parts Glossary.)

Binding: The back cover, spine (center panel which connects the front and back cover to the pages and faces out when the book is shelved), and front cover of a book. A binding is what what holds a book together. Types of binding include case binding, comb binding, perfect binding, saddle stitching, spiral binding, and velo binding.

Body Copy (Body Matter): The majority of the text of the book, appearing between the front and back matter. (See Books Parts Glossary.)

Copyediting: Line-by-line editing of a manuscript (MS), as in line editing and offering developmental suggestions; making queries about arc, clarity, or argument (nonfiction), plot, dialogue, or characterization (fiction); highlighting text that is extraneous, repetitive, or erroneous; and editing for consistency of information and ideas throughout the manuscript.

Development Editor: The editor who does the substantive editing of a book, with particular attention paid to overall style, pacing, plot, and structure. The development editor works with the author on revisions. At Inword Publishers, this editor is known as the Professional Publishing Editor.

Draft: The book’s manuscript at a particular stage. The first draft is followed by rough drafts, which are unpolished versions. The final draft is sent to prepress.

EAN Bar Code: This bar code is the ISBN number transferred into machine-readable form. The electronic scanning lines printed on the back cover or book jacket are encoded with information about the book product, such as the title, publisher, and price.

Editorial Revisions: The process an author and editor go through together to revise and update a manuscript to bring out its best features. This can be simply changing a word or two or incredibly complex such as altering an entire plot, and is considered integral to the writing and publishing process.

Formatting: Refers to the style of a manuscript (including the font, page headers, and numbering); this can also include such things as italics or bold script. Although editors will frequently work to ensure that your formatting and style are consistent throughout the book, it’s up to the author and the book’s design team to check for consistency as the book moves toward publication.

Front Matter: All of the pages in a book that appear before the body copy. Types of front matter include the title page, copyright page, dedication, table of contents, foreword, preface, acknowledgment, and introduction. (See Books Parts Glossary.)

ISBN (International Standard Book Number): A worldwide, numbered identification system that provides a standard way for publishers to number their products without duplication by other publishers. “ISBN” also refers to ISBN numbers themselves. The first part of the ISBN identifies the language of publication (“0” for English), and the second part identifies the publisher. The next string of digits in the ISBN identifies the book product itself, and is followed by a digit specifically calculated to ensure the integrity of the ISBN.

Line Editing: Line-by-line editing of a manuscript (MS), concentrating on grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and syntax; correcting errors in sentence structure and language usage; and correcting errors in commonly known facts.

Manuscript: An author’s written material before it is typeset and printed. MS and MSS are the shorthand designations for “manuscript” or “manuscripts.”

Manuscript Assessment: An evaluation of a manuscript by a member of Inword Publishers editorial staff.  The review is not an edit, but includes a detailed summary of editing solutions that might enhance your work.

Permissions: The right to use another person’s work within your own text granted by the copyright holder. Authors who want to excerpt someone else’s work in their own book may be obligated under copyright law to secure permissions.

Physical Proof: A physical proof created by the printer. Physical proofs can be either bound or unbound.

Print Run: The number of copies printed of a pBook.

Professional Publishing Edit: A line-by-line edit, inclusive of line editing and copyediting. After your review of the manuscript, our editor will edit new material incorporated into the text.

Proofreading: A final proofing of the manuscript after it has been formatted and ready to print. The proofreader looks for errors that cropped up during layout and focuses on cleaning up any typographical errors.

Revisions: Changes, sometimes extensive, to an original work.

Style: An author’s personal way of writing, which can include word choices, punctuation preferences, and formatting choices. Style could also refer to a specific layout of a text, or a variation of the presentation of a word (such as page headers or the use of a specific font).

Style Guide: A detailed listing of an author’s preferences. This could include specific spelling usages, character names, and punctuation idiosyncrasies. This Guide is used by the editor and proofreader. Inword Publishers uses The Chicago Manual of Style for most style decisions, as well as our own in-house Style Guide. If an author wants to institute their own Style Guide, it is supplied to Inword Publishers when the manuscript is submitted for editing.

Text: The words on the page, and when used broadly includes tables, graphs, illustrations, and artwork.

Track Changes: A feature of Microsoft Word that allows authors and editors to collaborate on a manuscript, while giving the author the opportunity to accept or reject the editor’s alterations. This feature is not compatible with most other word processing software, hence Inword Publishers uses Microsoft Word exclusively for editing.