Gregath Company, Incorporated
 PO BOX 505, Wyandotte, OK 74370, USA
  Phone 01-918-542-4148
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Writer Glossary
Click here for Publishing Glossary

While differences in word usage may occur, hopefully this glossary will give an idea, to the new author, of what some general terms mean. Terms marked with an asterisk (*) are not generally used in our office.  All other terms are defined as used in our business plant and offices.

There are a few terms that are important to any writer as well as those who are publishing their own work.  These terms have been included here and others may be found in the Publishing Glossary

We have tried to list much writing jargon here. However, working with this language every day, may have us overlooking some common terminology not always defined easily by the public. If we can help you define other terms, let us know.

*Alley: White space (margin) between columns of type and/or graphics.

*Angle(s): General approach writer takes in treating subject matter.  The same information can be written from many angles.

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy): A sample publication produced with author/customer submitted material.  Many times this is in an alternate binding (or unbound with small publications) than the main publishing.  The reproduction process is usually not the same as the main printing (100+) and therefore differences in quality, text block placement, etc. may occur between the ARC and the published book.  For POD, however, this gives the customer the chance to see the quality of photograph the supplied material will produce.  Since Gregath works mainly from submitted camera ready copy, an ARC is generally not necessary.  Our quality guarantee covers any printer error (such as upside down photos) that may occasionally occur.

Art(work): Non-text material (in our shop, this excludes photographs) - may include such things as decorative lettering (not font related), drawings, ornamentation, tables, charts, sketches, maps, reproductions of documents, decorative borders, etc.

*Author alterations (Marked "AA" in margins): Changes marked in proofed copy that the author will want completed/fixed.  If undertaken after the work is at the printer, or at a paid typist/preparer, these would carry additional charge.

Back Matter: Material in the back of a book, after the main text - after word, list of contributors, notes, glossary, reference, bibliography, index, additional material (addenda/appendix), etc.

*Blue line: For Gregath use, see ARC Below is a definition from "The What Shall I Write Handbook", Corrine Russell, 1992, that is a good addition to our ARC entry:

"Blue lines are page proofs. They represent your last chance to review copy looking for errors.  Depending on the printing process your printer uses, blue lines may be expensive to produce, and many printers will not provide them unless you request them.  If printers do provide them, they may be expensive, so ask first.  Blue lines may be a good idea if you have a lot of photographs, for blue lines present your only opportunity to see photographs in place.  Check them carefully.  Make sure they are in the correct position, and that they are not upside down or turned backward.  Because blue lines are so expensive to produce, now is the time to start editing and proofreading. Unless they are printer's errors, changes made at this point cost you dearly."

Bold(face): Highlights type as is darker/heavier - to stand out.  Other "attention getters" include ALL CAPS, Italic, Underline (should not be used in web pages), Call-out, etc.  Use attention getters sparingly.

Call-outs: Brief passages of text lifted from within the publication placed in larger type size (and occasionally font) to gain attention.  They are often inserted into the text (divided by the change of font/size, sometimes boxed, or with other graphics) as an element which breaks the text or copy.  Usually, it is "teaser" copy - attention-getting and draws readers into the item.

Clip Art: Commercially produced "stock" images, already prepared, many times found in collections.  Generally copyright free with some limitations, it can be "cut and pasted" directly into the publication. - see art

Copyright (basic): Protection/listing from the US Library of Congress that gives protection against literary piracy.   Click here for more information. as well as going to

*Copyright page: see verso

Credit lines: text that indicate where material came from.  Generally used for "extra" elements such as photographs and copies of original items.  i.e. "Courtesy of...," "Permission to reprint this material comes from...,", etc. a type of caption

Crop marks: lines indicating what part of the photograph to print.  These are commonly placed directly on the face of the photograph with grease pencil (which will easily rub off later).  Our company charges extra if many photos are submitted this way.  Click here for more information.

*Dead copy: Any previous drafts or copies that have been discarded once proof read and any changes have been completed.  All drafts should be dated (easiest), marked or coded so the writer can be sure of working on the "current" and be able to see their progress in the older ones.

Desktop publishing: The use of a personal computer to bring together text and other elements (photos, graphics, etc.) into a camera-ready manuscript without using other resources (typesetter, paste-up, etc.

*Desktop publishing (2): The use of a personal computer to produce multiple copies of a manuscript to be bound in some method as books.

*Display type: Type used as attention getters, larger than regular text - usually from 14-72 point size. See Serif & Sans-Serif

Drop Cap: A Capital letter, traditionally the first letter of a chapter/section, that is enlarged to "drop" below the text in the rest of the line. Example "U" to the right.

Draft: All manuscripts go through many versions.  Each of those versions are a different draft.

*Dummy: Rough layout of how one envisions the final publication will look.

E-book (Electronic Book): Any book or manuscript that is reproduced for distribution electronically on the Internet or disk - 3½" floppy or compact (CD).   Click here for more information.

*Elite type: Refers to character spacing - spaced at 12 characters per inch. See Serif & Sans-Serif

*Exceptions list: A list of elements that are "exceptions to the rule" - the writer's and/or editor's rule for the publication.  For example, it may be decided that county and married will be abbreviated, however for transcribed documents, all spellings and abbreviations should be left the same.

*Flush left/right: See Justify

Font (Type): The actual type/style of lettering used in an item. See Serif & Sans-Serif - Click here for more information.

Footer: Line of information that is the last text on the bottom of the page.  Click here for more information.

Front matter: All the pages in the front of the book, leading up to the text proper - title page/verso, dedication, table of contents, frontice piece, introduction (material to read before the text), preface (from author), forward (not from author), epigraph (pertinent quote), etc.

Gripper Margin (*Grip): Margin space that is needed to get the page through the press.  Strictly speaking the *Grip is space that cannot be printed upon, and is always larger on one of the 4 edges of the paper.  See Print Margin

Gutter Margin: Margin on the "inside" of a printed book page. When books are printed, the margin on the inside is usually larger to allow for easy book handling. We assure your gutter margin when making plates for printing, free of charge.
From: ANSI/NISO/LBI STANDARD FOR LIBRARY BINDING - (inner margin, gutter margin, back margin)  The distance between the binding edge of a printed page and the printed area.

Header (in text/manuscript): Line of information that is the first text on the top of the page. Many times includes title and/or author. Click here for more information. | See also head/header in binding.

Impression Area: Printable area of a page minus margin area.

ISBN: International Standard Book Number - assigned by various agencies world wide.  A unique 10 (old) or 13 (new) digit number, used for inventory control by many book sellers.  Every book, format (hard or soft), and edition, qualifies for it's own number. Domestically, the assignment of this number also places the title in "Books in Print".

Justify right/left: text/type that at a glance is straight - or flush - vertically (running up and down the page) on the margin(s) side(s) indicated.  Generally, today the term "justified" refers to copy that is both right and left justified - providing a square block of text.

Layout: A written/graphic plan of how the completed book should come together and look.  A full layout includes all elements from page placement to binding, and beyond.

*Lakes: White areas which open up in lines of text that cause distractions in reading.  Not found as often in computer generated work, but occasionally when justifying right/left when using long words and/or short lines.

*Leading: See Line Spacing

Line Spacing: Actual space between lines of text characters on a page.  The standard computer default of "single" can be "squeezed" or "expanded" as space allows.  For paid manuscript preparation, all of our prices are based on single space, though custom quotations are possible.

Line Art: Made of individual lines, no % shading or close line fill - unless special handling is required (some very detailed older woodcuts, etc.), these do not add to cost of publication - see art

*Live copy: Current version that you are currently editing and proofreading.  When you are proofreading you (many times) compare to "dead copy" - previous versions - making sure corrections were made and no new errors were added inadvertently.

Logo: Usually the following text printed and centered at the bottom of the verso: Printed in the United States of America from author submitted camera ready copy by: Gregath Company, Inc. P. O. Box 505 - Wyandotte, OK 74370

Lowercase: Small characters of any given font - opposite of capital letters (uppercase).

Margins: See Print Margin

Manuscript: Sequentially numbered camera-ready set of manuscript pages or in electronic format.

Manuscript Page: Typewritten page that is one-sided, printed in clear, black ink/toner on white paper - 8½x11" unless otherwise specified.

Multichannel Marketing: Marketing that is composed of more than one media element (or channel) such as: print (advertisement, flyer, mail tool, promotional items, etc.), email, internet, electronic (scan codes, etc.), TV, radio, etc.

Masthead (generally newspapers, newsletter, etc.): Display type of information at the header of your publication that gives title, information about the publication, and sometimes organization producing it, etc.

Non-reproducible (color): Many times referring to special light blue or red pencils that do not reproduce when put through the printing process.  Any mark produced by any means on paper that will not reproduce may be considered "non-repro".  If using a pencil, keep the tip dull as sharp tips will crease the paper and the crease itself in some cases will reproduce.

Out of print: Titles that there are no more new books for sale. Copyright holders can "rescue" books from this designation by re-printing traditionally or offering in eBook format(s).

Paraphrase: A method of indirect quotation via re-phrasing and many times condensing the original copyrighted (spoken or written) material.  Even when using this method it is expected that documentation for the reference be noted in the publication.

Paste up (pre-press): A (usually physical) composite of more than one original item/artifact.  Our offices use a repositionable adhesive to place items onto an original in preparation for printing. Warning: Many print processes don't reproduce well when "clear" cellophane ("scotch" tape) is used on the front surface. See also Camera Ready Manuscript.

PDF: Portable Document Format - A computer file type produced originally by Adobe. Generally considered universal, this file type has many positives as a "camera ready" format for manuscripts. One of which is it is compatible with almost every eBook reader and personal electronic device (PDA, etc.)

Photo (picture) page(s): Any page that includes a photo in the manuscript.

Point: Unit of thickness, one thousandth of an inch (0.001").

Print Margin: Presses cannot print edge to edge on a page (impression area). Binding requires trimming also. Proper margin allowance ensures a pleasing end product. The gripper margin includes space that, while impression will take, it is not always quality.  Additionally, for books, a sizable clear margin makes a more eye appealing book.  (White space all around)

*Print Type: See Font - Serif & Sans-Serif

*Proof (Page): See ARC

Proofreading: Correction of type or electronic copy by comparison with previous versions.  Both proofreader and the individual that is to make the actual corrections should agree upon best way to mark pages and standard "shorthand" marks.

Proportional Spacing (scalable font): Type in which every character in the set/alphabet takes as much or as little space as it needs.  The "i" and the "w" would take up different amounts of space, rather than "typewritten" or set spacing where they would take up the exact same space.

*Ragged right (Left Justify): Text blocks that are justified on the left only have a ragged right margin because the right margin falls naturally with word breaks without forcing it to become even.

Raw Material: Term used to identify different formats of information such as handwritten material, posters, bills of sale, certificates and documents, typed pages, etc. that are to be used in preparing a Camera Ready Manuscript.

Ream: 500 sheets of paper, regardless of size, weight, or grade.  However, many refer to wrapped paper groups as a ream, such 250 index stock, 100 specialty paper, etc.

*Reverse: See Verso

Road Map: A list or representation of how different elements are to go together into a publication.  For instance: a photo list with page number/placement and/or pages copied with the photos in place. See Dummy

Sans Serif Type: See Font - Without serif.  Example: Arial. Though uncluttered, the lack of serif separates the letters and words for the reader  See Serif

Screen/Screening: (See Halftone). Also refers to shading a block of text - many times in boxes or set apart.  In black and white printing, screening or other elements (boxes, spacing, change of font type, clip art, etc.) may be used - sometimes one is more effective then the other.

*Sell Sheet (marketing): Typically non-folded, printed one side including information about the book and a drawing/photo of the cover of the book.

Serif Type: See Font - Finishing strokes (usually horizontal) at the ends of letters. Examples: times new roman, Alaska, etc. Considered easiest to read as the serifs draw the eye along during reading.

*Sidebar: Text/copy related to the general subject matter, but separated by a box and often with a different background.  Many times used in periodicals to make the item "pop" or add interest.

*Sink: Blank page (leading) area at the top of the page between the regular top margin and the beginning of the text in a given section.  Novels generally have a sink on the first page of every chapter - the text starts lower on the page then the rest.

Specification "spec" sheet: A book's "road map" - instructions for font type and size, for captions, heading, text, etc, placement of illustrations, captions, etc. for the typesetter or manuscript preparation professional.

*Substantive editing: Major revisions that cover every aspect of the manuscript - a rewrite - can effect contents, organization, style, graphic design and more.

*Tear Sheet: Loose page from a book.  Also: photocopy of article that appears in print.  Term originated when actual publications were torn apart to send pages and articles to authors or as marketing before modern copy machines made this not necessary.

Title Page: Generally the first  page of a book (odd side), that contains at least the book title, many times author and may include other things such as publish date, publisher, brief text or quote, illustration, etc. Almost always the odd (front) side of verso. Frontice Piece or Half title may precede this page.

Trim Size (generally not in use with books): Actual size of finished item, as in "trimmed down to".  An 8½x11" self cover publication generally has a trim size smaller than 8½x11".

*Typeface: See Font - Serif & Sans-Serif

Uppercase: Capital (CAP) lettering of a given font.

Verso: The back side of the title page. Usually includes Copyright (©, date, name of holder), Library of Congress Number, ISBN, year first created and/or published, contact/reorder information and Gregath Company, Inc. logo.

Watermark: Mark traditionally produced during paper production within the structure of the paper. Digital watermarks may be produced by applying a ghosted mark during the printing process to paper or other media.

*X-height: The "mid-point" of a letter - the height of the secondary stroke of a letter such as "t" or "j.

This Page Last Updated: November 04, 2019

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