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Posts tagged with: Industry Terms

Industry Terms

Sometimes authors and those in publishing rattle off industry terms and acronyms forgetting not everyone knows what they mean, so I’ve listed a few.

Feel free to add, or ask about those not included in comments.   

TYPES OF FICTION

Commercial Fiction- Fiction written in ‘plain’ language that focuses on plot and content rather than prose.  Commercial fiction, also called mainstream fiction, focuses on plot and character development and has a narrative structure.

Dystopian Fiction – Dystopian is the opposite of Utopia.  Dystopian Fiction focuses on a world that is completely different from what one would consider to be an ideal world.  It features a futuristic projection of a world (usually a government) that perceives itself as or is striving toward being a utopia, and the book/series is frequently about the unraveling of either that world view or the government itself.

Genre Fiction- A genre is a label that describes a particular kind of story.  Within commercial fiction, genres break the books down into smaller categories such as Romance, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, and so on. Within a genre there are often sub-genres, or even narrower categories. For example, the Romance genre has sub-genres such as Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance.

Literary Fiction –Literary Fiction is considered to have ‘literary merit’ as opposed to wide commercial appeal.  Generally focused more on the writing style or ideology than the content.  Often the prose is admired for its lyrical quality.

Romantic Fiction – A type of genre fiction. A book that has a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

Steampunk – A genre that originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror, and speculative fiction. It involves a setting where steam power is widely used—whether in an alternative history such as Victorian era in Britain or the US Wild West, or in a post-apocalyptic time —that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy

 Women’s fiction- A commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.

Young Adult—Novels geared toward young adult readers.

New Adult—Aimed at readers in their early 20s

 

ACRONYMS

 ARC Advance Reader Copy dispersed by publishers and authors before the book is actually released

BCB – Back Cover Blurb

BIC- Butt In Chair

BICHOK — Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard

CP – Critique partner.

GMC —Goal, Motivation, Conflict

HEA – Happily Ever After

H&H — Hero and Heroine

IMO – In my opinion.

ISBN – International Standard Book Number

ITA – I totally agree

MS – Manuscript

NA – New Adult

POD – Print on Demand

POV – Point of View

ROTFL – Roll on the floor laughing

ROTFLMAO – Roll on the floor laughing my a** off

RTF – Rich text format

RWA – Romance Writers of America

TSTL – Too Stupid to Live

w/a –  Writing as

WIP – Work in Progress

YA- Young adult

PUBLISHING TERMS 

Anthology- A book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject. It can be a collection of selected writing by a single author.

Advance – Money the publisher pays when buying a book is an advance against royalties.

Auction-A literary agent sees there is more than one book publisher or editor interested in a book project, the agent holds an auction inviting publishers to bid on the book. A publisher may make pre-emptive persuading the agent to take the project out of auction

Backstory- Anything that happens before page one of the book.

Backlist- A list of older books that are still available from a publisher.

Black Moment – When it appears all is lost and the H&H will never get together.

Boiler Plate – A standard form contract.

Book Bible –  A tool used to keep track of what is going on in a series.

Blurb- A couple of paragraphs on the back cover that entice a reader to buy the book.

Character Arc – The internal journey a character take throughout the story.

Conflict- Everything that keeps the H&H from getting what they want 

  • External conflict – external events that get in a characters way of meeting the story goal
  • Internal conflict – Issues coming from within the character that prevent them from being emotionally complete

Copy Editor – Edits for typos, grammar, and consistency.

Copyright -A publisher is granted rights to publish, but it’s the author who holds copyright.

Critique – Read another’s manuscript and offer advice on grammar, punctuation, spelling, story structure

Dialogue – Discussion between characters used to move the story forward, reveal the past, develop character, illuminate theme, or define tone.

Dialogue Tag – Tells the reader who is speaking and how the speaker is saying it.

Digital Device- Anyone of a number of devices with a screen to read an electronic book. Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony have products allowing you to store books, magazines, newspapers, listen to music and audio books. Many smart phones can do the same.  

e-book – A book available to read on a digital device.

Flash Fiction – Extremely brief story

Full Manuscript request – Agent/Editor will ask to read a completed, edited and polished manuscript.   

Galley – Is the manuscript after it has been typeset.

Genre Fiction– Romance, mysteries, science fiction, Westerns, horror, and thriller novels written to entertain.

Goal – What your characters want to achieve in the story.

Head Hopping – Frequently switching POV from one character to another in a scene.

High Concept –A story that has a different twist, is universal, has an intense emotional pull and can be explained in a few words.

Hook – An unexpected end of a scene and chapter designed to keep the reader turning pages.

Inciting Incident- sets your story in motion once your foundation is solid. Is a life-altering event for the protagonists. It forces the protagonist to choose between their old world and an opportunity that will change them.

Indi Publishing or Self-publishing- The publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is responsible and in control of entire process including design (cover/interior), formats, price, distribution, marketing & PR.

Info Dump- A large chunk of narrative giving backstory information that slows the forward motion of the plot. 

Literary Agent- A publishing professional working with/for an author to sell books to a publishing house.

Literary Novel –Book written with a goal to enlighten

Manuscript – An unpublished book

Mass-Market Paperback– Mass-market books are designed to fit into the racks set near the checkout counter at supermarkets, drugstores, hospital gift shops and airport newsstands. They are priced affordably so they can be bought on impulse.

Mid-list Author- Authors who consistently publish good but not bestselling books.

Motivation – Why a protagonist wants something.     

Novel- A work of fictional narrative prose in the romance genre of at least 40,000 words as determined by computer word count.

Novella– A work of fiction of 20,000–40,000 words as determined by computer word.

Pacing – Speed of forward motion of the story.

Pantser- An author who does not plan/plot a story. 

Partial Manuscript request-An agent or editor, based on a query letter or pitch will request to see the first three chapters or fifty pages of the manuscript.

Pitch- Authors speaking with an editor/agent about the main characters and plot of their book. Elevator pitch is telling the story in a couple of sentences.

Plotter- An author who plans and plots an entire story and writes according to this plan.   

Plot points – Key scenes to the story line that add complications to the initial goal set by the protagonist.

Plot point one the moment something enters the story in a manner that affects the protagonist’s status, plans and beliefs, forcing them to take action in response, and from that point forward everything changes for them. This event occurs in the 20 to 25 percentile of the story.

 Plot point two – the final point where new information may enter the story.  Where the protagonist receives everything they need to bring the story to an end. This occurs around the 75 percentile of the story.

Point Of View –Which character is sharing internal thoughts are being shared and what tense is being used to tell the story.

Proposal- Sent to and editor by a published author to pitch a new book.  A big name author may receive a contract for a concept. Most will send a description of the proposed book, including an outline or sample chapters.

Protagonist – A story’s principal character, who changes and grows the most in the story, the one with whom the reader identifies with the most

Query letter – A professional one page email sent to an agent or editor showing who, what, and why the story is unique to hook them into reading the full manuscript.

Ragged Lay Down No this is not a description of a steamy sex scene — it’s a description of the way a book is released for sale to the public. It means that the book will be available before its actual publication date. This is a huge issue for big name authors, because to get on the New York Times or USA Today best-seller lists, you want most of your sales to come in a two-week period. So having books sell before the actual publication date, is not a good thing.

Royalty – A percentage paid on sale of each book, most often based on the books cover price, and generally paid quarterly.  Some publishers have semi-annual payments.

Scene – A unit of story structure

Small Press –A term often used to describe publishers with annual sales below a certain level. Commonly, in the United States, this is set at $50 million, after returns and discounts. Small presses are also defined as those that publish an average of fewer than 10 titles per year, though there are a few who manage to do more.

Synopsis – A short overview of the main story plot points.  What the characters want, why they want it and what’s keeping them from getting it. (GMC)

Slush Pile – To be read manuscripts on an editor’s desk. Generally unsolicited, unagented, manuscripts.  

Tag-As in Amazon tags. A tag is a keyword or category label. Tags can both help you find items on the Amazon site and provide an easy way for you to “remember” and classify items for later recall. You can add up to 15 tags per item.

Tagline – A sentence that tells your story. The fewer words the better.  

Tense – The authors chooses to tell the story.

  • First person
  • Second person
  • Third person
  • Deep third person
  • Editorial omnipotent
  • Limited omniscient

Three Act Story Structure – Simplified definition.

  • Act 1—Setup
  • Act 2—Confrontation and response
  • Act 3—Resolution

Act 1— Setup.

Act 2 —Confrontation and response. 

Act 3 —Resolution.  

Trade Paperback– Are generally printed on more expensive paper and with sturdier binding. Are higher in price and often (not always) printed in smaller numbers trade paperbacks are sold in bookstores (“to the trade”) and are shelved with their spines facing out.

Troll- For our purpose not the critters who live under a bridge. Troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse. Trolls post inflammatory, messages in an online community, such as a forum, review, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking an emotional response.

Universal theme – Touches something primal in all of us and pulls us deeply into a story.

Unsolicited Manuscript – A complete manuscript sent to an agent or editor without a request.  

Voice – How an emotional connection is made with the reader. Showing the reader life thorough the authors eyes

 GENERAL STORY WORD COUNT

NOVEL                   OVER 40,000 words

NOVELLA             17,500-40,000 words

NOVELETTE        7,500-17,500 words

SHORT STORY    under 7,500 words

FLASH FICTION   300-1500 words

MAJOR PUBLISHING HOUSES

Simon & Schuster (a subsidiary of CBS Corporation)

HarperCollins (a subsidiary of NewsCorp)

Penguin Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann and Pearson)

Hachette Livre.

Harlequin TORSTAR

 

 

 

 

 

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