Advanced Review Copy

Advanced Review Copies or ARCs are draft copies of your manuscript that you give to beta readers or book reviewers prior to publication in order to receive reviews, feedback, or endorsements.


An acronym for “Application Programming Interface.” An API lets different software systems communicate with each other.

Author Bio

Your Author Bio is a brief description of you as an author. Your interests, influences, and background can all be a part of your author bio. This information can be included on the back cover or inside flap of your book, and should also be listed on your author website.

Author Brand

Your Author Brand is the story of what makes you a unique writer. It’s what comes to mind when your readers think of you. A well-managed author brand will build lasting connections with your readers and deliver a promise about what kind of work you’ll consistently create.

Author Network

An Author Network refers to the readers, authors, colleagues, and other partners that make up your audience. Building an author network is an important part of maintaining your author brand and promoting your book(s).

Author Newsletter

An Author Newsletter is content you distribute to your readers via your email list. Your newsletter can include any information you feel would be relevant or beneficial to your readers, including updates on projects you’re working on or any special promotions or discounts you may be offering.

Author Platform

If your author brand is what distinguishes you as a writer, then your Author Platform can be described as the tools you collectively use to create that distinction. The main pillar of your author platform should be your author website, but will also include your social media channels, blog, email list, and any other methods you use to connect and communicate with your audience.

Author Spotlight Page

Author Spotlight Pages are unique to Lulu authors. This provides a place in the Lulu bookstore to list all of your available titles, as well as your author bio and social channels.


Back Cover Blurb

Also known as Cover Copy, a Blurb is a sales pitch for your book that should sound interesting and represent what’s in the book without giving too much away. If a blurb makes a reader want to read more, it’s successful; if a blurb bores or overwhelms the reader, or fails to explain what the book is about, it needs to be rewritten. For a novel, a back cover blurb is a short description of the book's main character and conflict, usually between 100 and 200 words, that traditionally is included on the inside cover or on the back of a print book. For a nonfiction book, a back cover blurb is a short description of the book’s content, goals, and what message or information the book promises to deliver.

Back Matter

Back Matter refers to the pages, such as the acknowledgements, index, and author bio, that follow the main text of a book.

Beta Readers

Beta Readers are people from your ideal audience who will read your book and offer feedback on characters, plot, story flow (fiction), and content organization (non-fiction).

Binding Type

The Binding Type defines the method by which your book is held together. Examples include perfect bound (better known as paperback), hardcover, saddle stitch, coil bound, and more.


BISAC is an acronym for Book Industry Standards and Communications. BISAC is a standard used by many companies and retailers throughout the supply chain to categorize books based on genre, keywords, and topical content to help with your book’s discoverability.


In printing, Bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of where the sheet will be trimmed. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies.


A regularly updated section on your website that is typically written in an informal or conversational style. Blogs can provide a consistent source of fresh content for your author newsletter and social media.

Blog Tour

Blog Tours are a method for gaining exposure for new projects or releases by working with a group of bloggers in your genre or audience that are willing to interview you about your work or review your latest book.

Book Block

The Book Block is the printer term for the interior printed pages of a book before it has been bound into the cover.

Book Launch

A Book Launch is a set date where you make your published book available for purchase. This can include multiple elements such as a release party, book signing, or social media campaign to drive sales.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews are usually written by a reader or media professional offering a critical synopsis of your book. Book reviews from your ideal readers can be incredibly useful for marketing purposes. When looking for people to review your book, you should aim for a mix of professional and reader reviews.


A Budget refers to the money you have allotted to spend on a specific project. This could be money used for editors, formatting, cover designers, social media ads, and any other products or services purchased in the process of completing your book.


Call To Action (CTA)

Call To Action is a marketing term for any device designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. For an author, this would be anything that directly encourages your readers to purchase your book, join your newsletter, follow you on social media, or leave a review of your book.


Canva is a powerful online graphics designer and editor that allows users to create anything from book covers to interior planner and journal pages to marketing assets like social graphics, ads, website banners, etc. Canva offers both free and premium paid services for users - learn more about both at


Casewrap refers to traditional hardcover binding with the cover image printed on the cover. Casewrap binding is most often used for textbooks and hardcover portfolios.

Coil Bound

Coil Bound books are bound with a flexible plastic coil wound through punched holes along the entire length of the spine. This allows the book to lie flat when open.


Content, in this capacity, refers to the material you are creating for your social media channels, website, blog, newsletter, and more. This can be video, written, or audio content but all serves to help you connect with your audience and engage new readers.


Conversion is a term used by marketers to denote someone who visited your website and took an action; like buying a book or signing up for emails.


In marketing, Copy refers to the specific text being used in a project, design, graphic, ad, or other marketing tool. “Back Cover Copy” refers to the text that goes on your book’s back cover. “Ad Copy” is the text that makes up the description or body of, for example, a Facebook Ad.


Copyediting is the process of reviewing a manuscript for spelling, punctuation, grammar, basic fact checking, usage and style inconsistencies or errors. However, the copyeditor’s job is not just to check grammar and spelling. They also check to make sure every element of your story is consistent, cohesive, and complete.


A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations.

Cover Design

Cover Design is the process of creating and curating the images and text that will visually represent your book on the cover. Well designed covers can be incredible marketing tools that draw your readers in and establish genre expectations.


Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors. You can employ crowdfunding to raise funds to complete the publication of your book.


Developmental Editor

Developmental Editors work to improve the structure, con­tent and focus of your book. Developmental editing is also where problems of inconsistent tone or an unclear audience often surface.

Direct Sales

Direct Sales refer to selling your books directly to your audience via Lulu’s Print API, Lulu Direct, or hand-filling in person or through your own website. Selling directly cuts out the “middleman” retailers and distributors like Amazon,, etc., often resulting in more direct profits for the author.


Discoverability refers to the likelihood of your book to be found online by potential readers. Keywords, metadata, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can all contribute to your book’s discoverability.


Distribution refers to the methods or channels you use to sell your books to your readers. This can include third-party sellers, popular retailers, direct sales, and more. Lulu offers distribution through our bookstore as well as our Global Distribution service that reaches over 40,000 retailers and schools around the world.

Dust Jacket

A hardcover book with linen wrap on the cover and foil stamping on the spine. The Dust Jacket is a glossy or matte finished printed cover jacket with flaps. Commonly used for first edition fiction, memoirs, and gift books.



An Ebook is a book publication made available in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on the flat-panel display of computers, ereaders, or other electronic devices.


Ecommerce is short for Electronic Commerce. Any time you buy or sell something online, that's ecommerce. For authors, ecommerce presents an avenue to sell books directly to readers, leading to higher revenue and the opportunity to develop a direct relationship with that reader.

Elevator Pitch

An Elevator Pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in your book. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name. If you can’t summarize the content and value of your book in 20-30 seconds, you may need to rethink your approach and cut unnecessary information. This should be just enough information to get potential readers or influencers interested in learning more.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email to promote your business’s products or services. It can also play a pivotal role in your marketing strategy with lead generation, brand awareness, building relationships or keeping customers engaged between purchases through different types of marketing emails.


Endsheets are the pages at the beginning and end of hardcover books that are used to glue the inside pages, known as the book block, to the hardcover.


An EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the ".epub" file extension. EPUB is the most commonly used format for ebooks.


Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are posts that you pay to promote to a targeted audience of users on Facebook and their associated platforms (Messenger and Instagram). Facebook ads are a great way to get your book in front of like-minded or “lookalike” audiences of potential readers.

Facebook Author Page

Authors may choose to have an Author Fan Page on Facebook, which allows friends and fans to follow your page and engage with content you share. Visit the “Pages” tab on your Facebook dashboard to get your page started.

Facebook Insights

Facebook Insights provide information about your page's performance, such as demographic data about your audience and how people are responding to your posts. You can use Insights to understand how people are engaging with your page and view metrics about your page's performance.


The Flyleaf is an extra blank page inserted during the binding process between the endsheet and the book block at the beginning and end of the book.


The Folds are represented by dotted blue lines in Lulu's book preview tool (on the Design step) and indicate where your cover is folded. In the case of paperback (perfect bound) books, there is one fold between the front cover and spine, and another between the spine and back cover. A book with a dust jacket will have additional folds where the front and back cover flaps wrap around the inside of the book cover, while our saddle-stitch books will have only one fold between the front and back cover.


Formatting refers to the arrangement and stylistic presentation of text. This includes headings, paragraphs, quotations, and footnotes/endnotes, any images or graphics, and other elements like page numbering included in the manuscript. Another word for formatting is layout.

Front Matter

Front Matter refers to the pages, such as the title page, copyright page, and preface, that precede the main text of a book.


Fulfillment refers to a sequence of steps a business undertakes to process the order from the point of sale to the delivery of goods with customer satisfaction.


Galley Copy

A Galley Copy is a rough copy of a manuscript that has not yet been copyedited or formatted, but has been bound and printed for early review or advance promotional purposes. Galley copies are usually limited to just the body of text, as front matter, back matter, interior art and formatting, and cover art usually haven’t been finished yet.


Gatekeeping is the activity of controlling, and usually limiting, general access to something. Gatekeepers are much more prevalent in traditional publishing and almost non-existent in self or independent publishing.


Genre is a category of artistic composition characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. Your book’s genre can refer to the general distinction between Fiction and Nonfiction, but may also be more nuanced to include the main theme, such as Mystery, Memoir, Personal Growth, or Poetry.

Global Distribution

Global Distribution is Lulu's service enabling you to list your book on retail channels. All sales are reported to Lulu and listed in your dashboard for easy access and tracking. When a reader buys your book from one of the participating sales channels, that retailer handles the print-on-demand and shipping. The entire process is automated; meaning once you’ve set up your account and published your book, you’ll be selling any time, to anyone!

Glossy (Cover)

Gloss coating on the book cover creates bright covers that emphasize the cover art or photography.


Google offers free tools like Adwords, Analytics, and Search Console you can use to enhance your author website and marketing efforts. Adwords is an advertising platform. You bid on keywords associated with your book, and when someone searches with those keywords, your ad might appear. Analytics offers traffic data from your author website like new visitors, pages visited, how long they spend on a page, and what link they clicked to get to your site. Search Console expands on the analytics data to help you understand what people who visit your site are searching.

Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging refers to penning an article for a blog other than your own. This can be a great marketing tool if you pick blogs that are relevant to your genre or content and an excellent way to grow your author network.


A page Gutter is the space on the inside of the page that leads into the binding of print books.



A book bound with Binder Board or another stiff material. Usually covered in cloth or paper with a stitch spine and endsheets.

Hybrid Publisher

Hybrid Publishers fill the gap between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Sometimes called Vanity Presses, these publishers provide “traditional” editorial, creative, and marketing services directly to authors. There is no formal barrier to entry outside of the sometimes steep cost associated with the services.



In self-publishing, an Imprint is the business or trade name under which you publish your work. As a self-published author, it can be extremely beneficial to create your own imprint to publish under to build authority and brand awareness. Authors publishing similar or related content may also agree to publish their individual works under one united imprint.


An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) identifies the following information about your book: title, author, type of book, physical properties, and location of publisher. An ISBN is a unique identifier for every single published version of a book; a paperback, hardcover, ebook, and revised second edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN.




Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called "search queries." If you boil everything in your book down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords.


Landing Page

A Landing Page is a unique page you send your customers to, usually through social media or email marketing. A landing page uses important keywords and is usually focused on a single product or service you offer. Landing pages may also be known as a ‘Lead Capture Page’ or ‘Destination Page’, usually with a single goal in mind. Goals can include email capture, buying a product, signing up for a webinar, and more.

Line Editing

Line Editing ensures that the sentences in your manuscript are as effective as possible. A line editor is attentive to your individual style and approaches the manuscript as a careful reader. While a copyeditor looks for typos, grammatical errors, etc., line editors work line-by-line, tightening up sentence structure so the language is sharp and clear. They look closely at how your word choice and syntax contribute to the tone or emotion of your writing. Finally, a line editor is concerned with the overall pacing and logical flow of your manuscript.

Linen Wrap

When a hardcover book has the cover art printed on a dust jacket, the solid book binding beneath the dust jacket is a linen fabric cover known as Linen Wrap. For a hardcover book with the cover art printed directly on the book itself, see casewrap.


Lulu is a self-publishing print-on-demand platform that is free to use and offers over 3,000 book formats combinations, ecommerce integrations with Lulu Direct, and distribution thorugh the Lulu Bookstore and our Global Distirbution service, reaching over 40,000 retailers and libraries.

Lulu Print API

The Lulu Print API is a book printing API that allows users to incorporate print-on-demand book manufacturing and distribution into their business quickly and easily at the best commercial rates in the industry.



The Margin is the space between your text and the edge of the printed page. Margins are important because they prevent the image or text on your manuscript from being cut off.


Marketing refers to any effort on your part to promote or share your work or author brand in an attempt to drive sales or raise awareness about your platform.

Matte (Cover)

A matte finish gives your cover a more subdued, natural look. Used most often with novels and notebooks, matte finish withstands scratches and wear better than any other cover finish.


Metadata refers to all of the data elements that describe your book. These include the title, author, description, author bio, publication date, BISAC categories, ISBN, and copyright information. It’s important to keep this information consistent throughout the publishing process or your book will not be eligible for retail distribution.


Metrics are used to track and measure performance on the web. Some common metrics include site visits, social engagement, and click-through rates.


MOBI is the proprietary format used exclusively by Amazon Kindle ereaders. Amazon retired MOBI in 2011, but continues to use AZW3, KF8, and KFX formats (based on MOBI) for their ebooks. Despite using a proprietary format for their ebooks, Amazon Kindle devices will usually read EPUBs as well.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile Optimization is the practice of building your website with mobile devices in mind. This is achieved by optimizing your website content and design so that all your website pages are clear and easy to navigate on mobile devices. Mobile optimization involves reformatting the website by keeping larger navigation buttons, only having purpose-rich content, and optimized images that fit well on any handheld devices. This helps mobile audiences to remain engaged while viewing your site.



Offset Printing

Offset Printing or offset lithography is the primary method used to print large runs of magazines, books, manuals, and other printed materials. Because of the fixed costs involved with setting up each job for offset printing, the cost of each copy in a 250-copy order will be higher than the cost of each piece in a 10,000-copy job.



Stiff paper is used to bind the pages of a Paperback book. The most efficient and cost effective way to print high-quality books.

Partners Page

Lulu’s Partner’s Page features service providers to help you every step along the way of the publishing process, from editing and formatting to cover design and marketing.


Portable Document Format (PDF) files are the best format when creating a print-ready file. Lulu only accepts PDF files when creating your book as it ensures there will be no changes to the document (such as fonts and layers) once it has been through our automated review process.

Pen Name

A Pen Name is an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real name.

Perfect Bound

The industry term for traditional paperback binding, Perfect Bound is the most cost-efficient and popular way to bind on-demand products. Suitable for most print projects.


Printing a book involves transmitting PDF files for the interior and cover to a printer. The interior pages are printed and cut into a book block, which is then bound to the cover.


Print-On-Demand (POD) refers to the process of printing items as they are ordered, rather than ordering inventory in bulk and fulfilling orders after the fact. Print-on-demand technology is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than traditional methods of printing such as offset. With Lulu’s POD model, authors can order the exact number of books they need, when they need them with no minimums or maximums.

Proof Copy

A Proof Copy is a copy of your completed book ordered after publishing but before making the book available for sale, to ensure everything is perfect. Ordering and approving a proof copy is required to be accepted into Global Distribution. This is a best practice that should precede making your book available to your audience or ordering bulk copies of your book.


Publishing a book or any kind of content (art, games, music) means to prepare and make available for sale and distribution.

Publishing Team

Your Publishing Team is composed of the individuals you contract to help you complete your book. This could include services such as editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, and more.

Publishing Timeline

A Publishing Timeline is an estimate of how long it will take you to complete all of the steps of the publishing process from writing your first draft to your official book launch. Key points on your publishing timeline may include drafting, editing, fundraising, formatting, cover design, event planning, networking, or pre-launch marketing.



Reader Persona

A Reader Persona is a fictional character built by compiling data about a larger set of people, based on the actions (both actual and desired) of your readers. Personas are useful when developing marketing strategies and to better understand your audience.


If your book does not have a Lulu-owned ISBN, then your earnings simply Revenue, which is the amount of money you make on each sale of your published material. Revenue is not subject to withholding and is not reported to the IRS.


If you use Global Distribution for your book and assign a Lulu-owned ISBN, Lulu becomes the publisher of record and all earnings are regarded as Royalties for that material, regardless of delivery format. The creator revenue generated by sales of material with a Lulu-owned ISBN meets the true and legal definition of a royalty. Royalties are reported to the IRS and are subject to withholding according to United States of America tax laws. For more information about tax withholding, see:


Saddle Stitch

Saddle Stitch is the name of a binding method that does not use glue to connect the pages. The interior pages are folded and inserted between the cover, then stapled along the spine edge. Saddle stitch binding is designed for supplementary materials, coloring books, magazines, comic books, and other smaller projects.


Self-Publishing is any publishing done by you (the author or creator), without sharing the rights or profits with anyone else. Generally, self-publishing involves designing the contents, formatting the files to be ready for publication, designing a cover, and marketing the project on your own or using paid freelancer creators.


Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a marketing practice using search results pages (like Google). You purchase ad space on these pages. When a user searches for related terms (based on the keywords you supply), your ad may appear.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website discoverability data, information, and keywords to increase visibility for relevant searches.


Shopify is the premiere ecommerce tool for independent creators and storefronts. Their service enables sales, payment processing, and order management, allowing anyone to create an online store. The Lulu Direct app for Shopify users enables you to sell your print-on-demand book through your own website.

Shopping Cart

Often referred to as Cart or Basket, your Shopping Cart is where a customer adds different products prior to checkout. When you go shopping in a Walmart or Target, the first thing you do is grab a cart and start adding products you want to purchase. When you shop online, the experience is the same. All the products that you want to purchase, you add to your cart.

Social Media

Social Media platforms - including Facebook, X, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. - can be an excellent networking and marketing tool for any author.


Short for Specifications, your project’s Specs include all the defining features you select. These include the size, binding, page count, paper type, ink, cover, finish, and other information related to your print-ready file.


Similar to your back cover blurb, a Synopsis should be a brief but descriptive summary of the content of your book. Unlike the back cover blurb, which is a public marketing tool and therefore should tease your book’s content, not give too much away, your synopsis should be a comprehensive description.


Target Audience

Your Target Audience is the group of readers most suited to the content in your book. Sometimes a target audience can be defined by age, by career, by gender, even by geographical location. It is important to know your target audience before you start marketing your book in order to best direct your marketing efforts.

Trade Book

Historically referring to mass produced paperbacks, Trade Books are designed to be low-cost to make the book available to as many readers as possible.


Trim refers to the final size of your print book.



The Unique Selling Point (USP) of your book or product is a particular feature or quality about it that makes it different or unique from other books about similar topics or in the same genre. Your USP is why readers should buy your book instead of someone else’s.


Variance (Print & Color)

Printing books often results in Variance; slight color or trim irregularities. For both off-set and on-demand printing, variance is common. Often subtle trim or color variance is completely unnoticeable.



A White-Label product is free from the producer's branding and offers you the option to apply your own branding.

Word Processor

A Word Processor is the device or computer program on which you type your manuscript. Popular word processors (and some of our favorites) include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scribus, Scrivener, Plot Factory, and Nisus Writer.