Romy's Blog

Publishing Terms for Beginners: E

In this next post in my regular monthly feature of Publishing Terminology, we'll be looking at words that start with the letter E.

Earn out: This is a term used for authors who receive an advance for their books. The author is only eligible to be paid royalties after the author has 'earned out' the full cost of the advance. In other words, until the publisher has accrued enough royalties to recoup that advance, the author does not receive royalties. And oh, the joy for an author who has 'earned out' and is now receiving even more money for their books! (Though many never do).

eBook: An electronic version of a book, designed to be read on a computer, cell phone or specifically designed handheld device. If you haven't heard of eBooks, you've clearly just time travelled here from the distant past. For all genre authors, and especially for us authors here in South Africa, feature as the lion's share of their book sales.

Editor: a freelancer or employee of a publishing house whose role is to work with an author to polish and refine their work in preparation for publication. There are many different types of editors: story editors, developmental editors, copy editors, proof readers, and acquiring editors.

Ellipsis: A form of punctuation (...) used to show the unspoken continuation of a thought, or to represent the omission or suppression of a thought. Colloquially referred to as 'dot dot dot'.

Em-dash: A symbol ( — ) used in writing to indicate a break in thought or sentence structure. It is longer than a standard hyphen, taking up the same type-setting space as the letter 'm'. The em-dash can also be used in place of parentheses (brackets).

En-dash: As with the em-dash, this is a form of punctuation - slightly longer than a hyphen but not as long as the em-dash. It is the width of a typesetter's letter 'n'. The en-dash means 'through' and is usually used to indicate inclusive dates or numbers, eg. Pages 1–10.

End matter: Also known as 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.

Endorsement: Also known as a blurb. A promotional statement or quote by someone (another author, or a celebrity) recommending a book. These are usually found on the dust cover, near the front of the book, or in marketing materials.

Epigram: a short, clever poem or saying. For example: "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put and end to mankind." (John F. Kennedy), or Benjamin Franklin's pithy "Little strokes/Fell great oaks."

Epigraph: a quotation at the start of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme.

ePub: This is an eBook file format used on smart phones, tablets and most eReaders. The notable exception is the Kindle eReader which supports its own file format, known as mobi. Files in this format en with the .epub extension.

eReader: A handheld device on which electronic books, magazines and newspapers can be read, such as Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, or Kobo's eReaders.

Can you think of any other terms starting with E that should be included here? Heard a term, and you're not sure what it means? Share your thoughts or ask your questions in the comments section below.

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