©The Publishers Association, UK 1997




No 1 Kingsway London VC2B 6XF
Tel. 0171 535 7474 Fax. 171 836 4543
The Publishers Associations is a company
limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales
Registration number 3282879
©1997 The Publishers Association


see also:
Russian version of this Glossary

Barnes and Noble Glossary of Book Terms


abbreviation for Association of Authors’ Agents, a body representing the interests of UK literary agents.

AAP: abbreviation for Association of American Publishers, the trade association for US publishers.

ABA: abbreviation for American Booksellers Association, but also the description usually applied to their convention and trade exhibit held in June each year in Chicago, now administered by Reed Exhibitions and renamed Book Expo America.

acquiring editor: a person within a publishing house whose primary function is to identify and negotiate to acquire new titles for publication.

advance: the non-returnable payment to authors by publishers against which the royalty earnings are offset.

A format: format of mass market paperbacks, most commonly with a trimmed page size of 178 x 111 mm (unsewn).

agent: see literary agent

AI: (sometimes AIS) abbreviation for Advance Information (Sheet), a document produced by publishers for new titles to provide information for the purpose of subscription to book buyers and initiating promotional opportunities. Typical contents would include a blurb, author biography, review of the author’s previous works, provisional specification, publication date and price.

ALA: abbreviation for American Library Association, but also the description usually given to their convention and trade exhibit held annually in July.

ALCS: abbreviation for Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, the agency for negotiating and redistributing dues payable from licensed photocopying etc to authors.

answer codes: the replies given by publishers’ distribution centers on invoices to orders for books. These might include: out of print; not yet published; temporarily unavailable; and so on.

appendix: material which is not part of the main text appearing at the end of the book.

Apple Mac: the common name for the Apple Mackinthos personal computer, much favoured by publishers’ art and design departments for its flexibility and suitability for graphics programs.

archival: papers specifically made for an extended lifespan which do not discolour or otherwise deteriorate; used in academic texts and other works of permanent value, and particularly favoured by library conservationists and US libraries, which often require their use.

auction: a process whereby a title is submitted, particularly by a literary agent, to a number of selected publishers in order to secure the best offer or highest price. Auctions sometimes run to several ‘rounds’ and may end with the exercise of topping rights.


abbreviation for The Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland, the trade association for booksellers.

bar codes: the machine readable image of lines of varying thicknesses which encodes a book’s ISBN and which is printed on the back cover. When ‘read’ by electronic till equipment it plays a vital part in booksellers’ EPOS systems for sales monitoring and stock control. Also used in distribution centres for various functions such as processing returns.

Berne Conventions: an international agreement made in 1886 for the respect of copyright between participating nations.

B format: a format for paperbacks particularly favoured for non-fiction and literary fiction, normally of a trimmed size 198 x 126 mm (unsewn).

BHTC: see Book House Training Centre.

BIC: see Book Industry Communication.

binders pack: the packing unit, either of kraft paper or increasingly shrinkwrap, used by binders when delivering books. Contains a variable number of copies depending on their size.

BL: see British Library.

blad: a term used to describe various forms of advance sales material, most commonly consisting of a selection of pages of text and illustration wrapped inside a proof of the bookjacket.

bleed: term used for an illustration or image which extends beyond the trimmed page.

blocking: the use of metallic foils, much used on covers and jackets for visual impact or as a routine operation on the spine of a hardback book.

blurb: the brief description of a book which appears on the back of a paperback or on the inside front flap of a hardback.

Bologna Book Fair: the pre-eminent book fair for children’s publishers, particularly those buying and selling rights, held in Bologna in Italy each spring.

Bookbank: a bibliographic product on CD-ROM from Whitaker listing titles currently in print in the UK.

book block: the sewn or perfect bound pages of a hardback book before they are cased in.

book club: a mail order operation through which selected books are sold direct to the public at a price significantly below the recommended retail price in return for a commitment to buy a particular number of books over a period.

Book Data: company established in the UK to market bibliographical information supplied by participating publishers.

book fairs: exhibitions and conventions used by publishers as locations for meetings and business dealings. Many such fairs take place internationally, of widely differing purpose and focus, of which much the most important is Frankfurt.

Book House Training Centre: the book trade’s training organisation, based in south London.

Book Industry Communication: a company set up by the Booksellers Association, the British Library, the Library Association and the Publishers Association to encourage the establishment of standards in the book trade. Among other activities, BIC has responsibility for bar codes and EDI standards.

bookjacket: the paper cover wrapped round a hardback book, and normally the publisher’s main marketing tool; frequently film laminated for durability in handling.

Book Marketing Ltd: formed from the Book Marketing Council of the Publishers Association, this company provides statistical and market research information to the industry, notably in the form of the annual publication Books and the Consumer.

book proof: a specially produced advance copy of the uncorrected text of a title, used by publishers’ sales teams and as early review copies.

Bookseller: the weekly journal of the UK book trade, published by Whitaker.

Books in the Media: a weekly publication by Bookwatch detailing book-related events in other media, together with sales data and trends.

Book Tokens: gift vouchers with monetary values redeemable at bookshops.

Book Track: an operation set up by Whitaker to monitor sales out of bookshops and produce accurate bestseller lists.

Book Trust: formerly the National Book League, a charity whose purpose is to promote books and reading. Among its many activities it manages many of the UK’s major literary prizes.

Bookwatch: a company providing UK sales data information and bestseller lists.

Bowker: the leading US bibliographical publishing company; owned by Reed Elsevier, and publisher of Publishers Weekly.

BPIF: abbreviation for British Printing Industries Federation, the trade association for the printing industry.

British Council: the British government agency responsible for promoting British culture throughout the world.

British Library: the national book collection based in London and now being relocated from the British Museum building to its new site at St Pancras.

British National Bibliography: The most comprehensive listing of British books, based on titles received by the British Library through legal deposit requirement and including forthcoming publications derived from the CIP programme.

bulk: the thickness of a book.

bulky news: improved quality newsprint used for mass market paperbacks.



camera ready copy: the text of a title supplied to a printer ready for reproduction and printing, universally abbreviated to CRC.

CAPP: abbreviation for the Council of Academic and Professional Publishers, a division of the Publishers Association.

cased: hardback; derived from the case into which the book block is inserted (cased in) at the conclusion of hardback binding.

Cassells Directory of Publishing: an annual publication listing the majority of UK publishers, their areas of specialism and their personnel. Published in conjunction with the Publishers Association.

CD-ROM: Compact disc with read-only memory; a non-interactive CD which is the platform for almost all offline electronic publishing.

C format: an imprecise term for any paperback format other than A and B, most often used to describe a paperback edition published simultaneously with, and in the same format as, the hardback original.

CICI: abbreviation for Confederation of Information Communication Industries, a grouping of trade associations organised under the auspices of the Publishers Association.

CIP: abbreviation for cataloguing in publication, a programme set up by the British Library in the UK and the Library of Congress in the USA to capture bibliographical data on titles not yet published.

CLA: abbreviation for Copyright Licensing Agency, the organisation which co-ordinates the collection of dues from licensed photocopying etc.

CLARCS: abbreviation for Copyright Licensing Agency Rapid Clearance Service, a service provided by CLA to facilitate copyright clearance for permissions.

colophon: originally the bibliographic information printed at the end of a book, the term is now used almost exclusively for the device or logo of the publisher commonly printed on the title-page and the spine of the cover jacket.

commissioning editor: a person employed in a publishing house to seek out authors to write particular books for publication; sometimes used as a synonym for acquiring editor.

contract: the agreement drawn up between the publisher and the author to confirm payment terms, royalty, respective responsibilities etc at the point of acquisition.

copy editor: the person employed in a publishing house who works on the detail of a book, ensuring accuracy and completeness and preparing it for typesetting.

copyright: the right of an author, artist, publisher etc to retain ownership of works and to produce or contract others to produce copies. In 1996, the full term of copyright was extended throughout the European Union to 70 years (previously 50 years in the UK) from the end of the year in which the author died.

consignment: books sold on consignment are not invoiced to the customer but paid for as they are resold. Books consigned in this way are sometimes described as supplied ‘see-safe’.

counterpack: presentation pack, comprising a small number of copies of a book, used for point of sale merchandising and intended to stand beside the bookshop till to encourage impulse purchase.

CRC: abbreviation for camera ready copy.

Cromalin: brand name of a form of dry colour proofing.

Crown octavo: book format, trimmed page size 189 x 123 mm sewn (120 mm unsewn), comparatively little used nowadays.

Crown quarto: book format, trimmed page size 246 x 189 mm, frequently an economical choice for illustrated books.


Demy octavo: very popular book format, trimmed page size 216 x 138 mm sewn (135 mm unsewn).

Dewey decimal system: the main system of library book classification.

discount: the percentage reduction from the publisher’s recommended retail price at which a book is sold to a bookseller

distribution centre: location where orders from the booksellers are received and processed and where books are stored and dispatched. Since the days when every publisher had its own warehouse and trade counter (from which local orders were supplied on demand), the trend has been towards large out of town distribution centres servicing the requirements of many publishers and imprints.

dues: orders taken before a title is published or while it is for any reason unavailable which are fulfilled when stock is again available. Called in the US ‘back orders’.

dumpbin: presentation stand, usually containing some 20-40 copies of a book, used for point of sale merchandising in bookshops.


EDI: abbreviation for electronic data interchange, the exchange of information and other data between computer systems; also known as electronic commerce. Standards for book trade EDI messages have been created by Book Industry Communication.

edition: the whole (usually first) printing of a title. See new edition, first edition.

editorial: the department within a publishing house responsible for the content of its titles, both by commissioning and acquiring but also subsequently ensuring accuracy and completeness of the finished publication.

ELBS: originally an abbreviation for English Language Book Society, a scheme subsidised by the British government through the British Council for the republication of educational and technical titles for use in the developing world. The name was subsequently changed to the Educational Low-Priced Books Scheme, which is, however, scheduled to disappear in its present form in 1997.

ELT: abbreviation for English Language Teaching; an important sector of the educational book market.

em: a typological measurement, so called because it represents the width of the widest character in the alphabet. In general use it is a synonym for pica em.

en: half an em; used as a measurement of the number of characters (text and spaces) in a given text.

endpaper: the pages of heavy cartridge paper at the front and back of a hardback book which join the book block to the hardback binding; sometimes used for maps or carrying a decorative colour or design.

EPC: abbreviation for the Educational Publishers Council, a division of the Publishers Association concerned with the UK schoolbook market.

EPF: abbreviation for Electronic Publishers’ Forum, a division of the Publishers Association.

EPOS: abbreviation for Electronic Point Of Sale, the bookshop till system used for sales data and stock control.

erratum: the correction of errors in a book, normally inserted as a slip of paper (an erratum slip) into the finished book.

extent: the number of pages in a book.


abbreviation for the Federation of European Publishers, the representative body for publishers in Europe, based in Brussels.

firm sale: books supplied on this basis may not be returned unsold by the bookseller.

First Edition: name of one of the major systems suppliers for EDI.

first edition: first printing of a book; occasionally gains substantial secondhand value if the book or its author become especially collectable.

floor: an offer made for a book by a publishing company on the basis that after an auction of the rights in which it does not participate it may exercise topping rights to secure the acquisition.

folio: the page number which is printed at the top or bottom of each printed page.

fore-edge: the right-hand edge of a book when opened, opposite the spine.

footnote: explanatory note inserted at the foot of the page referring to a point within the text, usually indicated by symbols such as asterisks and daggers or by superior numerals.

format: the shape of a book defined by its height and depth.

Frankfurt Book Fair: the most important international book fair of the year, especially for the buying and selling of rights, held in Frankfurt at the beginning of October.

frontispiece: an illustration inserted to face the title-page.

furnish: the pulp and chemical components of a quality or grade of paper.


galley proof: now an obsolescent term for a proof of lines of type prior to page make-up. The galley was the tray in which lines of metal type were assembled during the time of hand or mechanical composition.

GBC: abbreviation for General Books Council, a division of the Publishers Association concerned with general, or trade, publishing.

GATT/TRIPS: GATT is the abbreviation for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the wide-ranging international agreement to facilitate the free movement of goods throughout the world. TRIPS is that part relating to intellectual property rights and is an abbreviation for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.


half-title: the first page of a book, on which the title is displayed, sometimes with a blurb or quotations from reviews.

half-tone: result of the process whereby continuous tone illustrations are broken down into dots for printing.

headband: a decorative strip of coloured material glued to the top of the spine of the book block of a hardback. Usually used in conjunction with a tailband.

headline: the line which commonly appears at the top of each printed page, typically showing the book title on the left-hand side and chapter title on the right; sometimes also incorporates the folio. Sometimes also known as a running head.


imposition: the positioning of pages on a sheet or reel of paper when printed which produces the correct sequence of pages when folded.

imprint: [1] the name of the publisher under which a title is issued. Increasingly in conglomerate publishing the term represents a publishing brand rather than a publishing company in its own right.

[2] also used to refer to the printer’s name and address which by law must appear in all printed books.

International Publishers Association: an organisation representing the publishing industry worldwide.

ISBN: universal abbreviation for International Standard Book Number, a ten digit unique identifier for each title published, which is used in a wide range of applications in all stages of the supply chain throughout the world. The number – made up of a language prefix (0 or 1 for the English language), followed by a publisher prefix, then a number relating to the individual title, and finally a check digit (used to validate the remainder of the code) – is customarily encoded in a bar code printed on the back of the book and normally appears also in the bibliographical details on the reverse of the title-page. The issuing agency for ISBNs in the United Kingdom is managed by Whitaker.

ISSN: abbreviation for International Standard Serials Number, the equivalent of the ISBN in the journal and magazine publishing business.


jacket: see bookjacket.


LA: abbreviation for the Library Association, the UK trade association for librarians.

lamination: the coating of film applied to bookjackets to give high gloss as well as added durability. A matt version is also available and is fashionable from time to time.

landscape: description of a format which is wider than it is deep.

Large Crown octavo: a hardback format with identical measurements to those of B format paperbacks, 198 x 129 mm sewn (126 mm unsewn).

large print: editions of existing titles redesigned for reading by those with impaired vision, produced specifically for the library market.

leaf: a page of the book comprising both recto and verso.

legal deposit: the legal requirement for publishers to deposit with the British Library and the five copyright libraries (University Library in Cambridge, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the national libraries of Scotland, Wales and Ireland) a single copy of each publication.

Library of Congress: the USA’s national book collection, based in Washington, DC.

licence: a subsidiary right usually granted for a fixed term or for a particular usage by the holder of the head contract in a work.

limited edition: a book published on the basis that a stated number of copies will be printed regardless of demand. Such titles are often individually numbered by hand and may achieve rarity value for collectors.

literary agent: a person or company looking after the interests of author clients and managing the exploitation of rights in an author’s work. This includes submission of a book to publishers, perhaps in the form of an auction, negotiating a contract, collecting money due, and dealing with other rights not held by the publisher, such as (in many cases) broadcasting and film rights.

Literary Market Place: publication by Bowker listing US publishers and other book trade information. An international edition is also published.

London International Book Fair: held annually in the Olympia halls in London in March, this fair has grown rapidly as a meeting place for all those involved in the book trade in the UK and Europe.


machine readable code: see bar code.

margin: the white space surrounding a page of type.

market: [1] the potential readership for a title. [2] the territories of the world in which a title may be contractually sold.

marketing: the department in a publishing house with responsibility for promoting titles published; this may include the creation of point of sale display material, press and other advertising, and securing free coverage through PR and publicity.

Matchprint: brand name for a common form of digital colour proof.

mechanical: a paper made from mechanically treated woodpulp which has a limited life and tends to discolor with time; originally used only for paperbacks and other titles of ephemeral value but nowadays mechanical pulp is used in variable proportions in the furnish of many books papers. More explicitly called ‘groundwood’ in the US.

merchandising: the management of stock in supermarkets and other non-specialist sales outlets in order to ensure the display of the fastest selling titles.

microfiche: a sheet of microfilm pages to facilitate storage by libraries etc, now largely made redundant by computer technology.

Milia: the book fair devoted to electronic publishing held annually in Cannes in January.

Minimum Terms Agreement: a contractual agreement negotiated between the Society of Authors and a number of publishers laying down the minimum acceptable terms for individual book contracts. The most contentious ingredient is the requirement that the work should be contracted on a limited licence rather than for the full term of copyright.

monochrome: printing in one colour, usually black.

MTA: see Minimum Terms Agreement.


NBA: see Net Book Agreement.

net, nett: system of pricing whereby no retail price is recommended by the publisher; not subject to further discount.

Net Book Agreement: the agreement formerly administered by the Publishers Association whereby publishers in the UK were able to dictate the minimum price at which their titles were sold by bookshops; abandoned by publishers in 1995 and finally made illegal by the Restrictive Practices Court in 1997.

new edition: a reprint of an existing title incorporating substantial textual alterations, or republication of a title which has been out of print.

non-net: during the existence of the Net Book Agreement, not subject to a price established by the publisher, particularly used of educational textbooks.

novelty: a book or book-related toy either involving the use of paper engineering or diecut to an unusual shape; almost always aimed at the children’s market.

NYP: common abbreviation for Not Yet Published; see answer codes.


offprint: a printed copy of an individual article in a learned journal, generally offered by publishers to authors.

offset, offset free: so named after the process of offset lithography, which in the days when letterpress was still the predominant printing method was used for the reprinting of books when the metal type was no longer available, the term describes the practice of photographically reproducing the text of one edition of a book in order to create another (for instance, from the US edition to the UK edition, or from an original hardback to a reduced size paperback). Hence, offset free, the charge made for the right to reproduce an existing text.

OP: universal abbreviation for Out of Print; see answer codes.

order processing: the handling of customer orders within the distribution centre; involving the keying of customer and order details into the computer system in order to produce invoices for picking.

ozalid: a form of proof made from a film assembly used to check the position of text and illustrations as a final stage of approval before printing. Called in the US ‘blues’ after the colour of the image on the proof.


PA: see Publishers Association

packager: company which creates and originates, sometimes manufactures, books for publishers.

page proof: proof of the made-up pages in a book, often used not only to check accuracy of typesetting but also as an advance promotional tool.

pallet: the raised wooden platform on which books are delivered by binders and stored in distribution centres; handling requires the use of forklift trucks.

Pantone: brand name for an ink-matching system widely used by designers for colour specification.

paper engineering: the devising of the mechanics of novelty books and pop-ups.

part-title: a page in a book which divides it into separate parts, usually printed with the name of the forthcoming section on the recto page but having a blank verso.

partwork: a publication which appears in weekly or fortnightly instalments and which may be bound together to make a complete book.

perfect binding: adhesive binding in which the individual pages of a book are glued together as opposed to section sewn; commonly called unsewn binding.

perfector: a sheetfed printing machine which prints both sides of the paper in a single pass.

permanent paper: inaccurate but commonly used description of archival papers.

permissions: the granting of rights by one publisher to another to quote extracts from a previously published title; under normal circumstances a permission fee is charged.

pica em: typographical measurement, consisting of 12 points, approximately 5 mm.

picture research: the process of finding suitable illustrations for a book, normally involving contacts with photo libraries, art galleries, museums and so on.

picking: the process of collecting together in the distribution centre the titles to fulfil an order.

Pira International: originally an abbreviation for Printing Industries Research Association, but now an institution in its own right, producing scientific and technical research for the printing, publishing and paper industries.

plates: illustrations printed separately from the text of a book and inserted in the appropriate place by the binder. These may appear as a single section, or be wrapped round text sections, or occasionally individually pasted in.

PLR: see Public Lending Right.

PLS: abbreviation for Publishers’ Licensing Society, the agency for negotiating and redistributing dues payable from licensed photocopying etc to publishers.

point: a measurement for type. Most books are set in 10 or 11 point type. Twelve points equal one pica em.

point of sale: merchandising display material provided by publishers to bookshops in order to promote particular titles.

pop-up: type of novelty book where a three dimensional image is created when the book is opened.

portrait: description of a format which is deeper than it is wide.

prelims: universal abbreviation for the preliminary pages of a book before the start of the main text, often numbered in roman numerals.

print run: the number of copies printed in a single impression.

process colours: the four colour colours used in printing to represent the full spectrum: cyan (blue), yellow, magenta (red) and black.

production: the department within a publishing house responsible for print and paper buying and cost and quality control; in some cases has responsibility for typographic design also.

proof: general description of any kind of check of accuracy and quality control of a book’s content; might be used of typesetting (when normally takes the form of a photocopy), of the reproduction of illustrations, or as a final check before printing (see ozalid).

proofreader: person either employed in a publishing house or as a freelancer to read text proofs and ensure accuracy of typesetting.

publicity: the department within a publishing house which organises ‘free’ promotion of titles published, often through the sending out of review copies or soliciting coverage in the broadcast media; often nowadays in larger firms a part of the marketing department.

Public Lending Right: the right of an author to receive from the public purse a payment for the loan of works from public libraries.

Publishers Association: the trade association and representative body for the publishing industry in the UK.

Publishing News: a weekly news magazine for the UK book trade.

Publishers Weekly: the journal of the US book trade, published by Bowker.

put: an arrangement made between a publisher and a bookseller whereby an agreed price is to be paid for any overstocks remaining in the publisher’s hands after a given amount of time.


Quark Xpress: a graphic design software package, much used on the Apple Mac, which enables a designer to manipulate words and images to produce an integrated design concept.


recommended retail price: since the abolition of the Net Book Agreement, the price at which the publisher recommends that a book should be sold; to which the bookseller’s discount is applied and on which the royalty payment to the author is customarily calculated.

recto: the right-hand page of an opening in a book.

register: the accurate printing of each of the four process colours on top of the others to produce a near-perfect representation of a colour original.

reminder: a publisher’s overstock sold off cheaply for resale through bargain bookshops etc.

reprint: a second or subsequent printing of a title with minimal alteration to the text.

repro: a common abbreviation for the reproduction of illustrations; a company carrying out such work is called a ‘repro house’.

returns: books returned unsold from bookshops to publishers for full credit.

review copy: advance copy of a book sent out without charge to the press or other media for the purposes of review.

ribbon marker: a thin strip of coloured material bound into the head of the book block in order to mark the reader’s place in the book; often used as a decorative feature.

Royal octavo: book format, 234 x 156 mm (153 mm unsewn), very common in all sectors of the market.

royalty: the payment made by publishers to authors and others on sales made; typically a percentage of the recommended retail price in the home market and of the monies received from export sales. These payments are frequently set off against an advance and accounted for at six monthly intervals.

RRP: abbreviation for recommended retail price.

running head: see headline.


sale or return: the arrangement whereby books supplied by publishers to booksellers may be returned for credit if subsequently unsold.

scanning: [1] the electronic process of breaking down a continuous tone image into dots for printing.

[2] the electronic process of reading a document into a digital memory, from which it can be retrieved and manipulated.

scout: a person employed in an overseas territory to identify possible acquisitions of new titles.

screen: the process of breaking down a photographic image into dots for printing; originally named from a patterned glass screen inserted between the illustration and the light source on a camera, and now used to describe the process and also the size of the dots created (hence the quality of the reproduction).

section: the unit of folded pages produced by the printing or folding machine, most often 32 pages, which is then sewn together to make a book block or gathered for perfect binding.

security tag: an electronic device inserted into books and other goods to reduce theft from shops and libraries; unless deactivated, an alarm will be generated by installed security equipment.

see-safe: see consignment.

serial rights: a subsidiary right involving the sale of extracts from a title to a newspaper or magazine.

sheetfed: printing term for a machine printing individual sheets of paper.

signature: printers’ term for section, not much used nowadays.

slipcase: a cardboard box open at one end into which single copies of a book (or two or three related volumes) are inserted; nowadays used for decorative effect.

spot varnish: the varnishing of a particular part only of a cover or jacket image for visual impact.

Society of Authors: organisation representing the interests of writers of books in the UK

spine: the back of a book, where the title, author’s and publisher’s name normally appear.

STM: abbreviation for the scientific, technical and medical publishing sectors; also the name of an international organisation based in the Netherlands which represents the interests of publishers in these sectors.

subscription: the process whereby a title is sold to booksellers in advance of publication and orders taken which are held as dues until shortly before the publication date.

subsidiary rights: rights which are acquired by publishers for subsequent resale, such as serial rights, translation rights, etc.

Syquest: a cassette able to contain vast amounts of digital data and therefore much used for the storage and transportation of text and illustrations held digitally.


tailband: a decorative strip of coloured material glued to the bottom of the spine of the book block of a hardback. Always used in conjunction with a headband.

Teleordering: an electronic clearing house for booksellers’ orders operated by Whitaker whereby orders for any publisher’s titles may be keyed into a terminal by booksellers and routed to the correct distribution centre.

telephone sales: the use of the telephone to solicit or service orders both for trade customers and for private individuals; often abbreviated to ‘telesales’.

terms: the percentage discount from the recommended retail price given to the bookseller.

Thorpe: D.W. Thorpe, the preeminent bibliographical publisher in Australia, owned – like Bowker – by Reed Elsevier.

Title-page: the page, normally the second leaf in a book, which displays the title, author and publisher’s name.

title verso: the reverse of the title-page, on which the publisher’s name and address, printing history, ISBN and other bibliographical details, and the printer’s imprint are customarily printed.

topping rights: in an auction the opportunity given by a literary agent to a publisher to match (or in practice increase by an agreed percentage) the highest bid received from other participants.

translation rights: the right acquired to translate and publish a work into another language.

typeface: the design of the individual characters making up the text of a book. Many hundreds of typefaces exist and are continually being designed, of which only about twenty are used with any regularity for books.


unsewn binding: see perfect binding.

UV varnish: a varnish cured by ultraviolet light normally applied to covers and jackets as part of the printing process.


verso: the reverse of a page in a book, thus the left-hand page of an opening.


web offset: printing process which prints onto a reel, or web, of paper, and produces folded sections off the press.

Whitaker: J. Whitaker & Sons Ltd, the leading bibliographical publisher in the UK, publisher of the Bookseller and provider of a wide range of bibliographical services and book listings.

wholesaler: stockholding supplier of titles to booksellers whose business is based on buying from the publisher in quantity and supplying single copy or small orders.

WIPO: abbreviation for World Intellectual Property Organisation, a body concerned with international copyright.

woodfree: paper made from chemically treated woodpulp and used for good quality book production because of its colour fastness and durability.

wove: a loose description nowadays for uncoated bulky book papers, as in antique wove, book wove etc.

Writers and Artists Year Book: an annual publication by A. & C. Black listing publishers and providing general information of value to writers.

Writers Guild: an organisation representing the interests of writers in the UK