Publishing Key Terms
Learn these definitions before going into the publishing businessPublishing is a trade that stretches back to the first printing press, and it has been traditionally resistant to change. However, the electronic age is catching up with it, and some publishers are adapting and flourishing as they incorporate layout and design tools and custom media into their businesses. However, many of the old concepts remain, so if you're thinking of dipping your toes into the publishing pool, make sure you're familiar with the necessary terminology.
Layout and designMost publishers have specialists to design the artwork, color schemes and other visual components of their publications, whether they're books, magazines or Web pages. Often, a separate production team is in charge of laying out each page (usually on a computer, but sometimes on paper) and making sure that all individual parts fit in the way specified by the publisher.
RightsPublishers purchase the right to print and distribute (or disseminate electronically) the content they publish. An author's contract generally spells out what specific rights the publisher is buying, such as hardcover or paperback printing in the United States or overseas. These are distinct from the copyright, which a work's creator often retains.
BindingFor books and magazines, the binding is what holds the publication together. Different page lengths or groupings require different types of bindings. Perfect binding, lay-flat binding and saddle stitch are some common types of bindings.
DistributionDistribution, or getting a published product to the reading public, is simple in concept but can be complicated in execution. Professional distributors who know the retail and wholesale markets handle this for nearly all publishing houses.
Custom mediaAlso called custom publishing, custom media refers to nontraditional ways of producing published content, whether in print or in digital form, typically for marketing purposes. Informational brochures and in-flight magazines on passenger planes are common forms of custom media.
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