Sunday, March 17, 2013
Once you get into the real world of writing, you might feel a bit confused by all the terms you'll hear. It seems that we writers have a name for everything, even some of the writing techniques that are commonly used. Some you might already know, but many might be a little new.
Ms or Mss: abbreviation of Manuscript (your story all typed out)
genre: category (fiction, non-fiction, horror, mystery, romance, historical, fantasy...)
slush pile: stories submitting to a publishing company without request from an editor
royalty advance: a percentage of profits given to the author before the book is published.
pay-per-word: amount of money payed out per word, normally for a short story or article.
assignment: requested story from publisher
work-for-hire: contract, publisher's idea
kill fee: money paid when an assignment or work-for-hire is canned.
Pay on Acceptance: immediate pay
Pay on Publication: paid when published
Simultaneous Submissions: submitting a manuscript to multiple publishers at once
Ghost Writing: When an author writes a book for a person who has no experience writing a novel, such as a famous person telling their biography. The author receives no credit and the famous person's name goes on the cover alone
Collaboration: Two authors work together to write a story, both recieve equal credit.
As Told To: similar to Ghost Writing and a Collaboration project. The author writes the story for someone else, but receives credit.
byline: that line that says by: your name
cover letter: a page that is on top of your manuscript, includes title, name, word count and a short "back-cover" sort of synopsis.
Query Letter: sent by an author to inquire from a publisher as to their interest in a proposed story for publishing.
Book Proposal: Follows a Query letter once a publisher shows interest. Explains in more detail the plot, marketing of the book, the intended audience, etc.
SASE: self-addressed, stamped envelope. Included with a manuscript send in by mail for the editor's reply.
freelance: editor/author not connected to a publishing house.
P & L: profits and loss
MC: main character
beats: action phrases included with dialogue. ("No you can't!" He ran to the door and closed it.)
Back-Cover copy: that little two or three paragraphs about the book on the back cover.