Book Industry Terms

Looking to kickstart your career in the publishing field? Then check out these top terms found in every publisher’s vocabulary. Even if you don’t plan on working with all of these trades, knowing these book industry terms are an essential for anyone wanting to make a good impression.

Click to Purchase 2015 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market!Mass market books are sold in supermarkets, newsstands, drugstores, etc. They include paperbacks by popular authors like Stephen King.

Trade books are the hardcovers and paperbacks found only in the bookstores and libraries. The paperbacks are larger than those on the mass market racks. They are printed on higher quality paper, and feature matte-paper jackets.

Textbooks feature plenty of illustrations, photographs, and charts to explain their subjects. They are also more likely to need freelance designers.

Small press books are books produced by small, independent publisher. Many are literary or scholarly in theme, and often feature fine art on the cover.

Backlist titles or reprints refer to publishers’ titles from past seasons that continue to sell year after year. These books are often updated and republished with freshly designed covers to make them more attractive to readers.

*An excerpt from 1999 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market.


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