What Does That Mean? Literary Definitions: Vol. 1

Ever come across a publishing term and wasn’t sure what it meant?  (Who hasn’t?)

The Buried Editor and I are
pairing up to start a series to
help define some oft-used 
terms in the publishing world.
Here’s Volume One:

To Acquire – (v.) The act of accepting a manuscript for publication. A work is not officially acquired until the contracts have been signed. Until then, it’s in the process of being acquired.

ARC: Advanced Reading Copy – (n.) A bound copy of a book given to reviewers, booksellers, and other interested members of the industry for the purpose of creating excitement prior to the release of the book. Although these are not the final copy, they tend to be pretty damn close with cover art and some interior illustration. Although not the same thing as a galley, the words may be used interchangeably.

Galley – (n.) A bound version of just the text of the book (or article, if writing for magazines). There is little to no illustrations and the cover is a solid color with release data printed on the cover. Used for the same purposes as ARCs.

IRC: International Reply Coupon – (n.) International postage so that countries who don’t use American currency stamps can mail back your submission and/or notification of rejection.

Sic – Latin for thus or so. Usually [enclosed in brackets] or (parentheses), sic is inserted after a word, phrase or expression in a quoted passage to indicate that the word or phrase has been quoted exactly as it was written, even though it may seem strange or incorrect (e.g., there was a spelling error in the quote).

Slush – (n.) Unsolicited manuscripts submitted to a publishing house. They tend to accumulate into mountainous piles.

Stet – Latin for let it stand. Editors and proofreaders place the word stet in the margin of a manuscript to indicate that a marked change or deletion should be ignored, and the copy typeset in its original form.

Vet – (v.) A term used by editors when referring to the procedure of submitting a book manuscript to an outside expert for review before publication. A manuscript is usually vetted at the publisher’s expense.

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