1099 – Tax form that you will receive at the end of the year from all distributors where you sold books for a profit.

20BooksTo50k – This is a large Facebook group for independent authors who are focused on making the writing into a living. The name comes from the idea that consistent publishing over a sustained period will build enough intellectual property to support a decent income.

99Designs – a website where designers compete to provide you with a book cover or logo. On average a few dozen designers may post entries for you to choose from. You pay up front, but its guaranteed. If you guarantee a winner, you get a lot more entries. link

ACX – Owned by Amazon, ACX is a marketplace for producing and distributing audiobooks, where you can find a narrator, get the audio produced, and get it up for sale. See also Findaway Voices.

Affiliate Link – A link to a book or service that gives a small monetary compensation to the person sharing the link.

AISN – Amazon’s equivalent of an ISBN, used to identify a particular book on Amazon.

Algae – $1-$9 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

Alli – Alliance of Independent Authors, an informational membership group for Indie authors. link

AMS – Amazon Marketing Services. This is the paid advertising platform on Amazon that shows your book to browsers looking at similar books.

Anchor – This is a site where you can create and launch a podcast for free.

ARCs – Advance Reader Copies. Free versions of your book that you give out before publication to get reviews.

Atticus – This is writing software that also focuses on formatting your writing for export to pdf for printing or to epub for ebook publishing.

Autoresponder – A series of emails that are automatically sent to new newsletter subscribers, used to introduce yourself as an author and create a bond with your customer.

BBFD – Book Bub Featured Deal. This is the one everyone wants. It’s expensive but usually more than pays for itself. Your ebook is featured in their daily newsletter to hundreds of thousands of readers

Back Matter – This term refers to everything in your book after the end of the story, including first chapter of the next book in the series, about the author, website links, newsletter signups, etc.

Blurb – Short description of your book. Blurb is also used for a short endorsement of your book from a reader or famous writer, included on the book cover or in the book description

BookBrush – A graphic design tool that makes it easy to create ads and other graphics for your book. Link

BookBub – A book recommendation newsletter with millions of subscribers. Readers sign up to get a daily list of books on sale in genres they enjoy.

BookBub Ads – An ad platform that places your ad in a Bookbub email, specifically targeted to readers who like authors that you choose.

BookBub Featured Deal – Placement of your book in a genre-targeted email from BookBub, which goes out to hundreds of thousands of people.

Bookfunnel – This is a service that can deliver an ebook directly to a reader, rather than going through a sales platform like Amazon. It is used for various purposes, but most often for delivering a Reader Magnet.

Book Launch – A concerted effort to promote your book heavily when it releases.

BookRaid – A paid newsletter service for promoting your ebook. Link

Book Report – A sales tracker for books on Amazon that uses your KDP login to collate your KDP sales and show them in an organized manner.

Bookstagram – A slang name for the large group of readers and reviewers who discuss books on Instagram.

Booktok – A slang name for the large group of readers and reviewers who discuss books on Tiktok.

Book Trailer – A short video promoting your book, usually on YouTube

Books2Read – A service from Draft2Digital that lets you put all of the purchasing links for your books in one place. You can then use this link to promote your book anywhere and everywhere. Link

Box Set – Grouping related books together into one unit for sales purposes. Used for ebooks, too, even though there is no actual “box.”

Categories – Much like a library, Amazon uses subject categories to sort its titles. Amazon also maintains bestseller lists based on categories.

Chirp – A subsidiary of BookBub that highlights audiobooks. Link

Content Edit – This is an editorial review of a manuscript that focuses on consistency, phrasing, grammar, and fact checking, usually using in-line comments and highlighting to mark specific issues. Sometimes combined with, or mistaken for, a “Line Edit.”

Countdown Deal – Books in KU may be discounted once a quarter. This is called a Kindle Countdown Deal.

CPC Ads – Cost Per Click advertisements on Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc that charge you each time someone clicks on your ad.

Clean Link – When you look a book up on Amazon, it adds lots of notation to the url to help it identify and track where you came from. A “clean” link has all of that removed, and is simply where the X’s are your books AISN.

Developmental Edit – This is an editorial review of a manuscript that focuses on story, theme, and character, with the intent to improve the underlying structure of a novel. It is generally done early in the process, after the first draft.

Distributors – For printed books, companies like Ingram that provide your book to bookstores. For ebooks, a platform that provides your work directly to readers such as KDP, Draft2Digital, or Smashwords.

Draft2Digital – An ebook distributor that specializes in getting your books as “wide” as possible, both in format an geographically, in direct opposition to Amazon, which works very hard to keep you in their ecosystem. D2D also has an excellent free ebook formatter.

Dragon – A popular dictation app for writers who prefer or need dictation. Link

Drop Cap – A stylistic flourish that enlarges the first letter at the beginning of a chapter

ENT – Ereader News Today. A book recommendation newsletter. Readers sign up to get a daily list of ebooks that are currently free or on sale in genres they enjoy.

FFIS – Free first in series. This is a tired and true strategy, used largely by WIDE authors with a long series. By making the first book in the series free, you try to attract people who like your work and are likely to pay to read through the rest of the series.

Freebooksy – A book recommendation newsletter. Readers sign up to get a daily list of ebooks that are currently free in genres they enjoy.

Free run – Making your ebook free for a certain number of days in a row, to boost exposure.

Front Matter – This term refers to everything in your book before the story starts, including copyright, newsletter signups, table of contents, etc.

Fussy Librarian – A paid newsletter service for promoting your ebook. Link

GenreGenre is a recognizable type of story category into which most stories can be sorted. The most popular genres for fiction are Romance, Thriller, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, with each having multiple subgenres.

Goodreads – Readers create an account at Goodreads where they can keep track of the books they have read and rate and review them.

Google Play – A platform for distributing your ebook through Google.

Hidden Gems – A service that gives readers a free copy of your book with the expectation that they will post a review to Amazon when finished. Link.

IngramSpark – A resource for printing and distributing books, competitor of Amazon’s KDP. You can use Ingram for a hardcover with dust jacket, which you can’t currently do with KDP. With the right settings, bookstores can order your book from Ingram, but your book is also distributed to Amazon and other online retailers.

ISBN – A 13 digit number that is unique to each book, including each format of book. Like a social security number for a book.

KDPKindle Direct Publishing. The simplest way to self publish your book. Owned by Amazon, unfortunately, but they actually produce a high quality paperback book, and give you a very easy way to publish an ebook. This is most likely your starting point if you are new to indie publishing.

Kickstarter – This is a website used to raise seed money to fund a project. In turn, you promise investors a copy of the finished project or some other perk. link

Kindle Countdown Deal – Books in KU may be discounted once a quarter. This is called a Kindle Countdown Deal.

Kindle Direct Publishing – See KDP

Kindle Unlimited – Also known as KU, this is the Netflix of ebooks, owned by Amazon. You pay a monthly subscription fee, and can read all the ebooks that are in the program. You won’t find a lot of big, traditionally published authors here, but it’s great for genre writers, especially romance and fantasy, especially if you write thick books. The downside is, KU is exclusive, meaning if you are in the program, you can only sell your ebooks on Amazon.

Kindlepreneur – A well-known site created by Dave Chesson that helps authors look at Amazon keywords and categories in helpful ways.

Kirkus – Paid review service for both traditional and indie authors link

K-lytics – A service that provides periodic reports about specific genres, for the purpose of aiding in choosing what to write and how to promote it.

KU – See Kindle Unlimited

KoboKobo is an ebook company based in Canada but used worldwide. You can upload your ebook directly to Kobo or use Draft2Digital or Publish Drive to get your titles listed with Kobo. Link

Left/right justified – In book layout, this is the practice of having both the left and right edges of a paragraph straight. This is standard for most book layouts.

Line Edit – This, in the U.S., is an editorial review of a manuscript that focuses on character, voice, consistency and continuity on a line by line basis. In the U.K. it is often a name for proofreading. Many people just refer to “Content editing” when talking about both actual content editing and line editing, and prefer to do them both at the same time.

Lobster – $500-$999 in sales per month, from 20BookstTo50K

LuLu – A company that prints and distributes your book, like IngramSpark and KDP link

Mailchimp – An email marketing service that allows you to collect reader emails and send group newsletters.

Mailerlite – An email marketing service that allows you to collect reader emails and send group newsletters.

Metadata – Keywords about your book that are entered when you upload your book for distribution, designed to help search engines find you.

NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. An online challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

Newsletter Promo – A paid advertisement with one of many subscription email newsletters such as Bookbub, Freebooksy, etc.

Newsletter Swap – This is a practice by authors with active email lists, where in they promote each others books to their newsletter readers as a way of reaching new readers.

NFT – Non Fungible Token. This is a digital item that is bought and sold using blockchain technology, which allows that digital item to be a unique object that can hold individual value.

Nook – The ereader and ebook marketplace produced by Barnes and Noble.

Orphan – In book layout, this is a single beginning line of a paragraph that is by itself at the bottom of a page, with the rest of the paragraph continuing at the top of the next page.

Paid Promo – Any advertising that costs money – Social Media boosts, AMS ads, newsletters, etc.

Pantser – A writer who works “by the seat of their pants” instead of having a distinct outline to work from. Also known as “discovery writing.”

Patreon – This is a site where people can sign up to support you with regular payments. In turn, you usually agree to provide special content just for them. Many authors are using this as a way to interact with readers and make direct financial sales. link

Permafree – The practice of making an ebook always free (as opposed to a limited time sale) for the purpose of finding new readers and pulling them into your other work.

Plankton – $11-$99 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

Plotter – A writer who works from an outline.

Prawn – $100-$499 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

Promo Stacking – Boosting the results of newsletter promos by scheduling them sequentially over a number of consecutive days.

Proofread – This is the final editorial passthrough of manuscript, for the purpose of finding typos. It is assumed that all changes at the sentence level have been made.

Pub Date – The publication date of your novel, when it becomes available to the public.

Publish Drive – Like Smashwords and Draft2Digital, you can upload your ebook here and have it distributed to all the major retailers.

Publisher Rocket – A software tool that helps you find useful keywords and categories for advertising, as well as giving you an insight into how well other authors sell.

Publishers Weekly – Magazine that reviews both traditional and indie authors link

Radish – A place to distribute serialized fiction, mostly romance. Link

Rainbow Trout – $5000-$9999 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

Reader Magnet – A piece of writing, often a novella or short story, that you give away in exchange for the reader signing up for your email newsletter.

Reedsy – A website where authors can choose from a wide range of freelance editors and designers.

Robin Reads – A book recommendation newsletter. Readers sign up to get a daily list of ebooks that are currently free or on sale in genres they enjoy.

Royalties – Net money paid to you by the publisher – or distributor if you are self-published – for sales of your book.

Sales Funnel – A planned series of steps to create a bond with a customer that results in greater sales over a longer term.

Salmon – $10,000-$50,000 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

ScribeCount – A service that collates your ebook sales across platforms and displays them all in one place. Favored by authors that are “Wide” link

Scrivener – This is writing software that features robust editorial and organizing features for outlining and keeping track of information regarding your work in process. Link

Smashwords – An ebook distributor that makes your book available on many different outlets (much like Draft2Digital)

Swaps – Newsletter swaps. Featuring another author’s work in your newsletter in exchange for the same.

Track Changes – The function in Microsoft Word that allows you to make corrections to a manuscript in a different color that shows both what has been added and deleted for the purpose of editing. It has become a generic term and so may also apply to Google Docs and other programs.

Trout – $1000-$4999 in sales per month, from 20BooksTo50K

VA – Virtual Assistant. Hired help for publishing tasks that work remotely, rather than in an office.

Vellum – Software for formatting beautiful ebooks. Only works on Mac link

Widow – In book layout, this is a single ending line of a paragraph that gets bumped up to the top of the next page by itself.

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