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A Beginner’s Guide to Publishing Terms

Welcome to Divine Publication’s Beginner’s Guide to Publishing Terms! If you’re new to the world of publishing, especially self-publishing in India, you might find yourself swimming in a sea of unfamiliar terminology. Fear not! This guide is here to illuminate the path and help you navigate the intricate language of the publishing industry, particularly tailored for those venturing into self-publishing in India. Let’s dive in!

1. ISBN (International Standard Book Number):

An ISBN is a unique numeric identifier assigned to every published book. It helps identify the book and its edition, making it easier for libraries, booksellers, and readers to find and purchase your book.

2. Manuscript:

A manuscript is the completed, unpublished version of a book before it’s sent to a publisher or self-published. It includes the entire text of the book, from the first page to the last, along with any necessary revisions.

3. Query Letter:

A query letter is a formal letter sent to literary agents or publishers to pitch your manuscript. It typically includes a brief synopsis of your book, information about yourself as an author, and any relevant credentials or publishing credits.

4. Royalties:

Royalties are the payments authors receive for each copy of their book sold. Royalty rates are typically calculated as a percentage of the book’s cover price or net sales, depending on the publishing contract.

5. Print-on-Demand (POD):

Print-on-demand is a publishing model where books are printed as they are ordered, eliminating the need for large print runs and reducing storage costs. It’s commonly used by self-publishers and small publishers to produce books efficiently.

6. Distribution:

Distribution refers to the process of getting your book into the hands of readers through various channels, including bookstores, online retailers, libraries, and wholesalers.

7. Editing:

Editing involves reviewing and revising a manuscript to improve its clarity, coherence, and overall quality. It includes different stages such as developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.

8. Cover Design:

Cover design is the process of creating a visually appealing cover for your book. A well-designed cover is essential for attracting readers and conveying the tone and genre of your book.

9. Genre:

Genre refers to the category or type of book, such as fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, etc. Identifying your book’s genre helps target the right audience and market your book effectively.

10. Query Rejection:

Query rejection occurs when literary agents or publishers decline to represent or publish your manuscript. It’s a common part of the publishing process and doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of your work.

Congratulations! You’ve completed your crash course in publishing terminology. Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’re ready to navigate the world of publishing with confidence. Stay tuned to Divine Publication’s blog for more tips, insights, and resources to help you on your publishing journey.


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