Self-Publishing Terms You Should Know

If you’re beginning your self-publishing journey, you may feel overwhelmed with the terminology and acronyms in the self-publishing industry. However, knowing these terms will help you make the best decision when going through the process of self-publishing your book. Here are a few must-know phrases new authors should know about self-publishing.  



Before jumping head-first into the self-publishing world, you must understand what it is and whether it’s the right avenue to publish your book. Self-publishing is when an author publishes a work without a traditional publisher. There are varying degrees of self-publishing, and what we do at EABooks falls within this category. But to distinguish what we do by providing all the expert help you need under one roof, from those who truly do it all themselves, we call ourselves Partnership Publishing. 


One of the primary differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing is that traditional publishing companies generally own the rights to your book, while in self-publishing, you retain the rights. Other benefits of self-publishing include maintaining creative control and having exclusive input on how your book is published, designed, and distributed. And then there is the biggie—keeping your profits! 



These codes identify your book for print and digital publication. Bookstores, online booksellers, libraries, and wholesalers use this code to identify and distinguish your book from others. ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number and is specifically for print editions. ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number and is for authors who want to publish their books through Kindle Direct Publishing. 



This is your Library of Congress Control Number and is required if your book is to have wide distribution, such as through the library lending market or Ingram. Amazon does not require this number, and therefore it is an expense that is not always necessary. 



We can write volumes on the ins and outs of copyright. As for a definition, there are two. First, as an author you must follow proper citation rules to avoid violating the legal rights of the published author you are quoting, including the Bible (the publisher of the translation owns the copyright). Second, when a book is published, the process of filing for legal protection is called copyrighting. Registration of the copyright with the Copyright Office gives an intellectual work some attributes of private property, allowing the creator to control how the work is used, to make money from it if others are willing to pay for its use, and to protect it from theft. However, it is not necessary to register a work with the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. to obtain copyright protection. 


Print On Demand (POD)  

Print-on-demand is a popular publishing option, especially for new authors. POD services allow you to print books as ordered instead of printing a large volume of books at once. This will enable you to distribute your book in smaller quantities, requiring less upfront investment. The opposite of P.O.D. is offset printing. Learn more about print-on-demand publishing here.  


Vanity Presses  

Vanity presses are known for their shady business practices, preying on new authors who don’t know what they don’t know. Vanity presses turn out low-quality books quickly, profiting off charging authors exorbitant publishing fees, then outsourcing formatting and printing in the cheapest way possible. They accept all submissions, often perform little to no editing, and promise the moon. The result is usually a subpar printed book unsuitable for general distribution. Learn more about vanity presses and how to spot one.

Formatting Terms  

Formatting refers to the process of getting your manuscript ready for publishing. Here are some common terms related to formatting: 


Trim Size  

Trim size is the final width and height of your book after it’s printed. Once your manuscript has been edited, your book will be formatted to adhere to your desired trim size. A standard trim size for a non-fiction book is 6” by 9”.  


In book publishing, bleed refers to artwork or background colors that extend past your book’s trim size, giving the appearance that the illustration goes beyond the page. Books with bleed add a nice aesthetic touch to your book and are common in illustrated children’s stories. However, they are more challenging to print, so costs are higher. Books without bleed may have a white space in the interior and exterior margins of the book.  


Typeset refers to how words are arranged in your manuscript so that it’s print ready. This includes size, font, and letter/line spacing. Typesetting is a process that considers the margins of each page, chapter styles, section breaks, illustration locations, and other stylistic elements that make your book pleasing to the eye and easy to read.  


Royalties are the money you receive from book sales. In traditional publishing, the publishing company owns the rights to your book and gives you a percentage of each book sold. When you self-publish your book, you set the prices and keep the most profit. While some self-publishing companies take royalties from your book, EABooks Publishing doesn’t. You get to keep all the profits from your book, always.  


Imprint refers to a brand that a publisher publishes a line of books under. At EABooks Publishing, we have three imprints. EA Books is our primary book publishing imprint, While LP Press is our imprint for pastoral and leadership-related books. Our Living Parables imprint is specifically for our traditionally published books, which we publish once a year. Learn more about our imprints.  

Self-Publish Your Book with EABooks Publishing 

Take the guesswork out of self-publishing with a dedicated self-publishing partner like our team at EABooks Publishing. We're here to help you navigate the complicated world of self-publishing and live out your dream of becoming a published author. Contact us for a consultation to get started.  

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