Glossary for Authors

As part of our continued effort to provide authors of all levels with helpful resources, without further ado, here is a Glossary for Authors. We will continue to add to it as we come across more terms, and we know we will.

ABNA Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards
ACX Acronym for Audiobook Creation Exchange (and/or Audible), an Amazon Subsidiary which produces audio books
ARC Acryonym for Advanced Review Copy, a final proof which goes to reviewers before a book is published
ASIN Amazon Standard Identification Number
azw A proprietary format developed by Amazon specifically for the Kindle eBook reader
Beta Reader Someone who “test” reads a book, generally before going to editing, to find errors and evaluate the manuscript
camel case Or CamelCase is a compound word or phrase that has the first letter of each word capitalized
CMoS Chicago Manual of Style – important reference book providing key elements and guidance to authors
Coat-tailing Riding on (or trying to attach to) the good fortune of more successful authors
Comma splice The use of a comma to join two sentences which could stand on their own (i.e. It was cold outside, we had a fire going.)
CS Createspace, an Amazon company which produces print books (print on demand)
doc (also .doc) Microsoft Word Document
docx (also .docx) Microsoft Word Document versions 2007 and newer, *not* supported by Smashwords.
elevator pitch A succinct and grabbing summary in PEOPLE SPEAK, generally 50 words or less, that you would use to sell someone your book in an elevator
epub Stands for “electronic publication.” ePub is the “open standard” format for eBooks, used across the widest number of devices (Nook, iBooks, and more), but not supported by Amazon’s Kindle
FB Facebook
Freeloads Free downloads of a book, usually through the Kindle Select program
HEA Happily Ever After ending, most commonly used in the romance genre
Head-hopping When multiple points-of-view are used in a manner that is confusing
Indie An indie author or artist, generally self-published or with a small, independent publisher
ISBN International Standard Book Number which is a 10 or 13 digit number used to identify a book
IU Indies Unlimited!
JPG (also .jpg, JPEG, or .jpeg) Joint Photographic Experts Group – an image which is of a fairly condensed nature, commonly used on the internet
justified (also justification) Originally used by typesetters, justification can be left, right, (when the text aligns to one of those aforementioned margins) or full, which means the text aligns at both the right and left margins
KDP Kindle Direct Publishing, the Amazon platform for self-publishing eBooks
LI LinkedIn
LS Lightning Source, a platform for self-publishing print books
Lulu A platform for self-publishing print books
MC Main Character
Meatgrinder The sometimes dreaded process that converts a manuscript into many different eBook formats on Smashwords
Misplaced modifier Also known as dangling participle, when a word or phrase describing the subject is misplaced, describing something else instead. Excellent examples here.
mobi (also .mobi) An eBook file format, originally created by Mobipocket SA, purchased by Amazon in 2005 and now used with Kindles
MS Manuscript
odt (also .odt) Open Document Text file created by the Open Office program. MS Word does not support this program, so Open Office users should save the file as a .doc.
PDF Portable Document Format – a file generated by Adobe Acrobat which is generally non-tamperable
PNG (also .png) Portable Network Graphics – similar to a .jpg, but a PNG enables a clear background and better clarity at the same resolution.
POD Print-on-Demand, a method of print book publishing which produces a book ONLY when it is ordered.
POV Point of View – the PoV from which your story is told. For examples, see PoV for Dummies by Chris James.
prc Palm Resource Code – is a MobiPocket eBook file which can be read on a Kindle device.
Price pulsing Alternating standard list price and sale price at different intervals resembling a pulse to gain sales on your book and to hopefully raise it in the rankings to garner more interest
Run-on sentence A sentence that a) is too long, and b) contains two or more sections that can stand on their own.
Sales bump Also known as a sales spike, this generally happens after a book comes off of its promotion sales price or free listing.
sans serif A simple font more appealing to online reading such as Arial or Tahoma which does not have the doohickeys or “tails” at the edges of the lettering or strokes
Select Select, or KDP Select, is a program through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing wherein you grant Kindle exclusive rights to publish your eBook in return for certain benefits including 5 free book days, Kindle Countdown program, and Prime book borrows.
SEO Search Engine Optimization
Serif A more traditional font normally associated with print publishing with a decorative flourish at the end of each stroke such as Times New Roman or Georgia
Sideload The transfer of a file to or from a computer to a mobile device or eReader by using a USB cable or other method
sock puppet A fake identity or account set up to promote one’s own work, most commonly referenced in “sock puppet reviews”
SW Smashwords, an ebook publication and distribution site
T&C Terms and Conditions
TBR To be read list
TIFF (also .tif) Tag Image File Format is a high resolution image file accepted by Createspace for cover artwork
title case The capitalization used in titles or headlines wherein the first letter of each “significant” word is capitalized
TOC Table of Contents
Track Changes A feature in Microsoft Word that allows you to label all edits and changes made in a document. See this article.
trolls A troll is someone who purposely posts inflammatory comments or reviews, just to cause trouble.
URL Uniform Resource Locator – basically the link you give someone to go to a website, i.e. is the URL for IU.
Verified Purchase A verified purchase label is attached to reviews by people who have actually purchased an item or book on
WIP Work in process (or progress)

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