- What is a frontlist?
- What is a backlist?
- What is the difference between a hardcover and paperback book?
- What is deckle edge?
- What is an advance copy?
- What is ISBN?
- What are public domain books?
A frontlist refers to a list of books that has just been published, in general less then one year ago. The term originates from the practice of publishers issuing catalogs featuring their books. The catalogs, which are typically issued twice a year, usually feature a photo of the cover art for the book together with press material describing the book and its author.
A backlist is a list of older books available from a publisher, as opposed to newly published titles (the frontlist). Building a strong backlist has traditionally been seen as the way to produce a profitable publishing house, as the most expensive aspects of the publishing process have already been paid for and the only remaining expenses are reproduction costs.
A hardback book or a hardcover is a book that is bound with a thicker cover for extra protection and durability. Because these type of books last longer than paperbacks, they are in general used for bestsellers, collectors’ editions, reference guides and scholarly books.
On the contrary, a paperback book has a thinner paper or cardboard cover, which keeps the production costs lower. These types of books are usually intended for mass production releases, new book editions after a hardcover (collectors’ item) release or non commercial work.
Bestselling authors usually release a hardcover edition of their new work first, before paperback editions are published. New writers usually start with a paperback release of their work.
The term deckle edge refers to the raw, feathery edge of handmade or machine made paper. The name comes from the equipment used to make the paper, a mould and deckle. Handmade paper normally has four deckle edges and the edges are often quite dramatic while machine-made paper has only two more subtle deckle edges. Early printers looked upon the deckle edge as a defect and trimmed most of it off before binding. Starting form the end of the 19th century, many crafters started to keep the deckle edge look as an artistic embellishment. In recent times, the deckle edge is typically cut off when manufactured paper is sold. If the paper has already been machine cut, an artist or crafter may create the deckle edge look by giving the paper one of several treatments.
An advance copy refers to a book that is released by its publisher before the book is printed for mass distribution. As a marketing tool, publishers provide these free copies of new titles to booksellers, journalists and even celebrities. Such books are variously referred to as readers editions, an advance copy, an advance reading copy, ARC or ARE.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) code created by Gordon Foster. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization and was published in 1970. Since 1 January 2007, the ISBN format contains 13 digits, which makes it compatible with Bookland EAN-13. A similar numeric identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines.
Public domain books are books that are ‘publicly available’. This means that these works are not covered by intellectual copyright rights at all because these rights are expired or forfeited. Determining if a book belongs to the public domain, is not always an easy task, since it depends on the life and country of residence of the author. In the US, books usually become public domain 70 years after the death of the author. A complete overview of copyright terms and public domain rights is published online by Cornell University.
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