Terminology: Publishing

These bits of information comes from notes in INFO 5405 and some from my own knowledge. 

Types of Publishers

Trade – Publish original books for a general readership. You typically find books from trade publishers in bookstores and libraries. Generally higher quality printing and binding than mass market or book club edition publishers. Most school library purchases are trade books.

Mass Market – Publish original titles in an inexpensive format- the printing and binding is cheaper. You will see many best sellers and mass market editions for sale in a  grocery store. School libraries may sometimes purchase from these publishers if they need additional copies of a popular book title.

Textbook and Academic Publishers – Publish scholarly materials. Normally these publishers aren’t utilized for school library purchases.

Small and Independent Presses – Considered small because the volume of sales is low but they independently produce original titles. Some relate to rather esoteric topics or local history. Utilized sometimes by school libraries.

Government Publishers – The largest US government publisher is the Government Printing Office. They typically publish official documents, statistical studies and research reports. They tend to be low cost. Sometimes used by school librarians.

 Self Publishers (such as CreateSpace and Ingram) The writer arranges everything from the book formatting to editing to the cover design, and the self publishing companies merely print on demand as they sell on the associated platform (CreateSpace sells through Amazon)

Hybrid Publishers– The writers can go with their own editor use the one at the hybrid company. They may use the publishing cover designer or use their own designer.

Self-publishers are rarely used by school libraries. Ingram is undergoing some changes currently that will allow self-publishers to distribute their books more widely, so this may change in the future as the books gain visibility and earn more recognition.


Publisher Terminology

Backlist – A publisher’s collection of reliable sellers which are not “new releases”. These books sell well so the publisher maintains an inventory of these books. Many libraries purchase backlist titles.

Frontlist – The opposite of backlist. New titles released by a publisher in a season. Librarians watch marketing of frontlist titles to see what is coming out.

Blurb – Quotations taken from the book jacket or inside cover to highlight content and market the book.

Dust jacket – A wraparound book jacket.

Galley – A proof, uncorrected typed version of the book. Publishers send galleys to book reviewers ahead of the publication of the final book. Most libraries do not add galleys to the collection.

Imprint – Publishing companies have many subdivisions today which are marketed separately under separate names and logos. These subdivisions are called imprints. For example, Jump at the Sun is an imprint of multicultural titles under the Disney-Hyperion Publishing company.

ISBN – International Standard Book Number – a unique number assigned to each book title to identify the author, title, edition, and publisher of a specific book. The 10 digit ISBN is now a 13 digit number. This is essential information for identifying a book.

Remainders – Sometimes called “bargain books”. These are new books which are a publisher overstock. They are often sold at bookstores and online at substantial discounts. Some publishers handle only remainders.

Book Bindings

Library binding offers the most durable publication, but many times the higher cost is not justified as need or popularity expires much sooner than the material.

Trade binding is still a “hardback” but without the quality that withstands years of heavy use.

Paperback books will not withstand many circulations.  There are, however, times that paperback is the correct choice because 1) some titles are only published in paperback format or 2) several copies of the same title may be needed for a short time.

Prebound paperback books are a popular way to offer the attraction of a paperback book with a binding that will withstand library usage.  Most major jobbers offer some type of prebinding process, but many librarians buy this format from specialized vendors such as Bound to Stay Bound  or PermaBound.

Common Book Sizes

The following information comes from https://blog.reedsy.com/standard-book-sizes/

Mass-market paperbacks: Compact and inexpensively-produced, these books (also called pocket books) are around 4.25” x 6.87”. You’ll find them on the racks of grocery stores and supermarkets.

Trade paperbacks: The better-quality books you might pick up in a Barnes & Noble bookstore, trade paperbacks are probably what you picture when you think of a paperback book.Trade paperback sizes will range anywhere from 5.5” x 8.5” (a size that’s called digest) to 6” x 9” (also known as US trade). In today’s market, this is the go-to paperback size range for many novels, memoirs, and non-fiction books.

Hardcover: You’ll probably be familiar with these premium formats. These book sizes tend to range from 6” x 9” to 8.5” x 11”.

Here are some typical measurements

Fiction: 4.25″ x 6.87″,    5″ x 8″,    5.25″ x 8″,    5.5″ x 8.5″,    6″ x 9″
Novella: 5″ x 8″
Children’s: 7.5″ x 7.5″,    7″ x 10″,    10″ x 8″
Textbooks: 6″ x 9″,   7″ x 10″,    8.5″ x 11″
Non-fiction: 5.5″ x 8.5″,    6″ x 9″,    7″ x 10″

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