EPUB? MOBI? If you’re new to the self-publishing process, some of the terminology may seem like a foreign language. Don’t worry; the experts at Self-Publishing Relief are ready to translate! Here are some basic—but important—terms you need to know if you’re ready to begin your self-publishing journey.
Commonly Used Self-Publishing Terms
Barcode – a machine-readable code made up of numbers and parallel lines that identifies the product on which it is printed. Book barcodes encode the book’s ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and suggested retail price. Traditional booksellers require that this two-part barcode be printed on the book.
Bleed – images or elements that extend beyond the trim line and leave no margin. When a page has bleed, it has to be printed on a larger sheet of paper and trimmed down.
Book trailer – the latest marketing trend in book promotion, a book trailer is a video designed to build interest and entice potential readers into purchasing a book. You can see examples of professional book trailers created by the video tech experts at Self-Publishing Relief here.
Color model – a way to define color, describing how colors will appear on paper or on a screen. The CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) model is subtractive, because in it the colored inks subtract brightness from the light background. The CMYK model is used for print work. The RGB (red, green, blue) model is additive; red, green, and blue light are added together in a variety of ways to produce a broad spectrum of colors. It is used for computer screen-based work.
Cover finish – refers to the final coating on the book’s cover. A glossy finish is shiny and has luster; a matte finish does not have any shine or highlights. The decision about which cover finish to use takes into account such elements as the book’s genre and the cover image and design.
EPUB – the most common electronic book publishing format. It is a widely supported open standard and is maintained by the International Digital Publishing Forum. EPUB can display both reflowable and fixed-width content.
ISBN – stands for International Standard Book Number. An ISBN is a number that uniquely identifies and tracks the sales of a book, especially for libraries, bookstores, and distributors.
MOBI – another open electronic book publishing format, owned by Amazon and used for Kindle e-books. Like EPUB, the MOBI format standard can display both reflowable and fixed-width content.
Print on demand – a printing technology and business process in which copies of books or other documents are not printed until orders for them have been received.
Proof – a copy of a text made for examination or correction. The term galley proof refers properly to a physical paper proof and refers back to the days when printers would set pages into galleys—metal trays into which type was fastened and from which copies were printed for proofreading. The term applies most often to proofs produced in the proofreading and copy-editing review phases, while a proof made for final editing and checking near the end of the process is called a page proof. Nowadays the term “uncorrected proof” is more common than “galley proof” and refers to the penultimate paper or digital proof version made for final approval by the author.
Trim size – the size of a final printed page after excess materials required in production have been trimmed off. Trim size is an important element in the formatting of a self-published book and should be chosen carefully.
QUESTION: What self-publishing terms would you add to this list?