Self-Publishing Glossary

Acquisitions Editor

The acquisitions editor is the person in charge of acquiring new material for a publishing company. This may include evaluating manuscripts, negotiating contracts with authors, and overseeing the production of new titles.

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Action Beat

Action beats are short descriptive phrases that add detail and life to dialogue. They can be used to indicate a character's emotions, movements, and intentions while speaking. In addition, action beats can help to establish who is speaking at what time and whether their speech should be trusted.

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Active Voice

The active voice is a grammatical sentence structure in which the subject of a sentence performs an action rather than being the recipient of an action.

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Advanced Reader Copy (ARC)

An advanced reader copy (ARC) is a pre-published, almost complete version of a new book that is circulated to people with a vested interest in reading it before print, such as professional reviewers and bloggers. These advanced copies allow people to read the book before its publication date so their reviews can coincide with the book's debut.

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Alliteration

Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words or syllables.

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Alpha Reader

Alpha readers are people who read a piece of writing before it is fully edited. They give feedback on the work in its rough, unpolished state before the author has put in all the effort to make it shine. Alpha readers can help authors figure out what works and what doesn’t as they continue developing their work.

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Amazon A+ Content

Amazon A+ Content is additional content you can add to your Amazon sales page. It allows you to use images, text, and tables to make sure your book stands out.

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Amazon Author Central

Amazon Author Central is a service that allows authors to manage their author profiles on Amazon. It also provides an advanced dashboard to manage customer reviews and track book sales and performance.

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Antagonist

An antagonist is the person or force that opposes the protagonist and drives the story forward. The antagonist is often the villain or someone who stands in direct contrast to the main character.

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Anthology

An anthology is a collection of poems, short stories, and essays from a particular period, author, or genre.

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Anti-Hero

An anti-hero is a protagonist who does not have the traditional qualities of a hero. They may be morally ambiguous, flawed, or even downright evil. Anti-heroes are often more relatable and interesting than traditional heroes, providing a different and unexpected perspective on the story.

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Archetype

An archetype is a recurring character or motif in literature that represents a universal human experience. They may be based on real-world stereotypes, or they may be entirely fictional. Archetypes help to simplify complex characters and situations, making them more relatable and easily understandable to the reader.

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Audiobook

An audiobook is a book that is read aloud, typically by a professional narrator.

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Autobiography

An autobiography is a book written by the author about their own life. It typically includes the author's personal experiences and reflections on those events.

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Back Matter

Back matter is the content that comes after the main body of a book. This may include a table of contents, an author's note, acknowledgments, or an index.

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Backstory

The backstory is the part of a story that takes place before the main action begins. It provides context and background information that helps readers better understand the characters and plot.

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Beta Reader

A beta reader is somebody who reads a draft of a piece of writing and provides constructive feedback to the author. Beta readers typically read a more polished version of the text after the author has incorporated feedback from alpha readers.

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Binding

Binding a book is the process of physically attaching the cover and spine to the pages. This is usually done with adhesives, such as glue, or stitching.

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Biography

A biography is an account of a person's life written by another person.

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Bleed

Bleed is the printing term for the edges of a page that extend beyond the trim size.

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Blurb

A blurb is a brief text intended to promote a book by enticing potential readers. It usually contains a short story summary along with the author's credentials.

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Book Club

A book club is a group of people who read the same books or different books together, share book recommendations, and discuss their thoughts on the books they read.

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Book Cover

A book cover is a book's front and back exterior as well as the spine. It usually features the book title, the author’s name, and a design that reflects the story or genre.

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Book Fair

A book fair is an event where readers, authors, or publishers can come together to showcase and celebrate books. These events often feature workshops, readings, author signings, and other literary activities.

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Character

A character is a person, animal, creature, or object who appears in a story. They may be the protagonist, antagonist, or supporting character. Characters are developed through the author's use of dialogue, narration, and physical description.

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Character Arc

A character arc refers to a character's journey or transformation throughout a story. This can be either physical or emotional, and their development over time helps readers connect with the characters on a deeper level.

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