Saturday 24 April 2021

Publishing terms continued.

More explanations of common publishing terms. Eventually I'll be putting all these together in one alphabetical list, to make searching easier. Until then, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here. If you have any words or phrases to add, even if you're not sure of their meaning, please do say so in the comments.

Imprint The name given to a publisher's specific range of books. For example Puffin and Penguin Classics are both imprints of Penguin Random House. Self published authors may also have different imprints, particularly if they write in very different genres.

ISSN International standard serial number A code which identifies 'serial publications'. It applies to all issues. This week's issue of The People's Friend will have the same ISSN as last week's and next week's. The specials will have a different ISSN. This number is important to writers as we need it to claim ALCS payments.

ISBN International standard book number A code to identify a particular book. You'll most likely
need this if you self publish in a physical form.

The alignment of text on a page or in a document. This blog post is left justified, meaning each part begins at the left margin, and stops wherever the words run out. In books it's common for the words to be left and right justified, meaning they are spaced evenly between both margins. You can also right or centre justify. 

Kill fee If a writer is commissioned to write a piece which is never used, depending on their contract
they may be entitled to this payment as a form of compensation. 

Lead time This is how long elapses between us submitting our work and it being published. With womags it's not unusual for this to be six months or even longer. Some editors will help us out by stating that they're looking for seasonal stories to be published at a certain time. When I can, I pass on such information. For example The People's Friend are currently interested in autumn stories of 3,000 words.

Manuscript Your story (or article). Sometimes abbreviated to mss.

Multiple submissions
This is sending the same piece of work to more than one place at a time. It's a VERY BAD IDEA to do this with womag fiction. It is however perfectly fine to send different stories to different magazines simultaneously; in fact that's a good idea.

It's also perfectly acceptable to send a story rejected by one magazine to another – provided of course that it fits their requirements and you've read it over just in case you can now see room for improvement. 

Novella A really long short story, or very short novel. Exact definitions vary, but somewhere in the region of 10,000 to 40,000 words is generally considered novella length.


Unknown said...

Interesting about the ISSN. I have had poems published in poetry mags, and didn't know the ISSN needed to go on the ALCS details! Will log them all now as they crop up.

Marguerite said...

Again, thank you, Patsy - a few I didn't know. 'Imprint' has so many meanings! You are very definite about multiple submissions - SO hard when replies take months and months and months... :( but no, I've not done it.

Patsy said...

@ Unknown – Logging stuff into ALCS as you go along is much easier than trying to do a year's worth in one go. I can tell you that based on personal experience!

@ Marguerite – The long waits are frustrating, but how would you feel if two magazines wanted a piece and you had to explain to one that you'd just sold it elsewhere. Or worse, you didn't get notified by one (it happens) and your piece was simultaneously published in two magazines, putting you in breach of contracts and in the bad books of two editors?