Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

A Writer's Glossary (Part Two)

Find definitions from H to P…

~~~~~~~~~~~ H ~~~~~~~~~~~

Haiku -A three line, seventeen syllable poem, usually about nature.

Hardcover – Hard cloth over cardboard bound book that includes a paper dust jacket.

Historical Fiction -Fiction of any genre set in the past.

Home page -First page of a document from the World Wide Web.

Hypertext -Words in an electronic document that are linked to illustrations or other text, such as a related document or a definition.

~~~~~~~~~~~ I ~~~~~~~~~~~

Institutional Sales -Trade and mass market books that are sold to libraries and schools.

Interactive Fiction -Features multiple plots and endings. The reader determines the structure of the story by choosing from different alternatives at the end of each chapter.

Invasion of Privacy -Writing about someone without their consent, even if it’s true.

~~~~~~~~~~~ K ~~~~~~~~~~~

Kicker -Used in journalism for a short and snappy ending.

Kill Fee -The amount of money a publication pays to a writer when an article they were assigned to write has been canceled. The amount is usually determined with the initial contract and varies depending upon factors like: the publisher’s guidelines; the length of the article; and the time spent researching the piece.

~~~~~~~~~~~ L ~~~~~~~~~~~

Lead Time -The time between getting the article or query and publishing the article. This is very important for seasonal stories and articles.

Lede -A journalism term for the beginning of a story.

List Royalty -The amount paid based on a percentage of a book’s retail or ‘list’ price.

Literary Fiction -A general category for nonformulaic, intellingent, and serious fiction.

Little/Literary -A small publication created with the primary goal of providing literary writers a place to publish their work as opposed to making a profit. This type of publication generally has a low circulation and offer little or no pay, although writers may be compensated with contributors’ copies (free copies of the issue in which their work was published).

Logline -One sentence description of a TV or screen play.

~~~~~~~~~~~ M ~~~~~~~~~~~

Magalog -A mail order catalog that includes how-to articles about the items for sale.

Mainstream Fiction -Uses more depth with background, characterization, etc., than genre novels which tend to be more narrowly focused.

Manuscript -A writers document of screenplay, nonfiction book or novel.

Markets -Writers markets for publishing poems, articles, short stories or books.

Market Research -Uusually for nonfiction books to show a publisher there is a need for the proposed book.

Mass Market Publishers -Publishers the produce paperback books inexpensively, in large quantities, titles fit current market needs, sell high volume in a short amount of time.

Memoir -A narrative of a writer’s (or fictional narrator’s) family history or personal background.

Meter -The regular patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry.

Midlist -These are mainstream books by unknown or new writers that are expected to have only limited sales.

Monograph -A scholarly study that is documented and detailed about a single subject.

Multiple Submissions – Sending more than one piece of work at a time. (Submissions made this way are usually fillers, greeting cards, poetry etc….)

~~~~~~~~~~~ N ~~~~~~~~~~~

Net Price -Sometimes called “wholesale price.” This is the money the publisher receives from each book sale after discounts are given to buyers or book stores. Some publishers base the royalty paid to the illustrator or author on net price.

Net royalty -A royalty payment based on the amount a publisher receives from the sale of a book after returns, special sales discounts, and bookseller’s discounts.

New Age -This used to be a ‘fringe’ topic that included occult and UFO phenomenon. Now, it includes general topics such as health, religion, or psychology, but emphasizes the alternative, spiritual, or mystical aspects.

Newbie -A new writer.

Novel -A fiction book for authors that is usually 40,000 to 60,000 words, Young Adults and contemporary Romance are less. Spy thrillers, historical, and generation books are often 80,000 to 100,000 words.

Novella -Fiction that is more than 7,500 and less than 40,000 words but can vary with genre.

Novelization -Usually a paperback that is made from the script of a movie. Also called a movie ‘tie-in’.

Nut graf -A journalism term for the paragraph that contains the point of the story.

~~~~~~~~~~~ O ~~~~~~~~~~~

On Acceptance -Payment is given to the author when the editor accepts the article.

On Spec – When you write an article based on an editor’s expressed interest in your idea. But since the editor has not assigned the piece to you, she is under no obligation to accept your final work.

One Time Rights -The publication buys the nonexclusive rights to publish the piece once. The author can sell the same article to other publications simultaneously.

On Publication -Payment is given when the piece is published.

One-shot feature -A single feature article for a syndicate to sell. The opposite of regular columns or article series.

Outline -A writer’s own guide for their play or novel.

Over-the-transom -The submission of unsolicited material by a freelance writer.

Overview -The description of the nonfiction book or novel to a publisher is a couple of pages.

~~~~~~~~~~~ P ~~~~~~~~~~~

Package Sale -An editor pays for photos and a manuscript as a ‘package’ with one check.

Page rate -When a magazine pays at a fixed rate per published page, instead of per word.

Parallel submission -Several different articles are written from one unit of research to send to similar magazines. This isn’t a simultaneous or multiple submission because it isn’t the same article.

Parody -The imitation of a work for the purpose of making fun or ridiculing the work.

Payment on Acceptance -The writer receives payment as soon as her work is accepted by the editor.

Payment on Publication -The writer receives payment when her work is published.

PB -Picture Book.

Pen Name -A name that is not the writer’s legal name. When a writer wants to remain anonymous, her work is published using a pen name.

Permissions -A fee paid by anyone who wants to reprint part of your book for various uses such as: another writer using more than 50 words from your book in a published article, teachers reproducing all or part of your story for class use (often the publisher will allow teachers to use the material for free). The publisher handles permissions for the author and usually splits the proceeds 50/50.

Personal Essay -Usually about the writer’s life and written in the first person.

Photo feature -The emphasis of the feature is on the photographs instead of the written material.

Pica -Printer’s measure of type = 12 points, used to measure columns and photos.

Plagiarism -Using the words and ideas of another writer as your own.

POD -Print on Demand, publishing a book or books as they are demanded by the publisher.

Point of View -First person, second person(you), or third person.

Potboiler -Quick projects to bring in money or ‘keep the pot boiling’ with little effort or time involve, such as stories, short articles, how-to tips, or fillers like anecdotes.

POV -Point of view.

Proof reading -Thorough reading and correction of a manuscript’s typographical errors.

Proposal -A summary of a proposed book, usually nonfiction that includes articles you have written (particularly on the proposed topic), 2-3 sample chapters, chapter-by-chapter outline, author information, marketing information, one page overview of the manuscript and a cover letter.

Prose Poem -An open form poem whose long lines seem like prose.

Prospectus -A description of an article or a book that is usually about a page long.

Public Domain -Work that has never been copyrighted (or work that has had its copyright expire).

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