Publishing Terms for Beginners: B

May 12, 2017

In this second post in my regular monthly feature of Publishing Terminology, we'll be looking at words that start with B.


Backlist - a list of an author's older publications. If the author owns these rights, this can be a lucrative opportunity for self publishing. If not, then control of these books is entirely dependent on the publisher.


Back Matter - everything at the back of the book after The End, including (but not limited to) the author's biography, acknowledgments, a list of the author's other works, promotional material for the author's other books, newsletter sign-ups etc.


BEA - Book Expo America. An annual book fair held in Chicago.


BISAC codes - standardised book industry subject classification, used to sort books into genres.


Blurb - text used to promote a book, often meaning the back cover copy, the book's description on an online retailer, or a short quote from a well known author.


Boilerplate - a standard contract offered by a publisher to authors.


Box Set - more correctly referred to as a boxed set, this is a set of books packaged together in a box and sold as a unit. Also sometimes referred to as book bundles, these have become very popular promotional tools.



Can you think of any other B words that are used in publishing? If so, please share them in the comments below. Any questions? Just ask!


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