Even for those writers, editors, and publishing professionals that have been in the biz for years, understanding all of the jargon of the industry can be a bit of a challenge. For those professionals who are just starting their careers, following a conversation or email pertaining to a publishing deal, editing contract, or even the materials required to put together a book proposal can seem like trying to decipher a foreign language. I have spent a year in the industry and still constantly ask my boss what things mean. Truth be told, it’s a slow learning process, but with the help of Tracy Marchini’s new reference book you can speed the process up a bit.
Pub Speak: A Writer’s Dictionary of Publishing Terms is a veritable catalogue of acronyms, technical words, and even common awards and associations that every writer, editor, publisher, and publicist of the English language should know.
Title: The title is perfect– it accurately describes the contents without being too dry (as reference books tend to be).
Cover and Interior Formatting: The cover is well done. The design has good balance, it is clean, and I absolutely love the font. In fact, I love the font throughout the entire book. Reference books can tend to get bogged down in their own content, but this one remains clean and easy to read. Part of this, I think, is due to the formatting, which only allows for a certain amount of entries per page. If this book ever makes the jump from eread to printed publication I imagine it would be small enough to keep on hand when working while remaining thorough enough to prove useful. In the ebook format, though, it’s a great reference to keep on your laptop or even smartphone.
I love that at then end, under the heading “Contents,” the terms are listed by category, such as “Contract and Royalty Terms” and “Publishing Terms.” What I did not like, though, is that these terms weren’t listed with a page number, they are simply listed. If this section were to include the corresponding page numbers and act more as an index it would be much more convenient for readers looking for a specific entry. Though this, to me, is a glaring omission, it is the single issue that I found in the entire book and should not deter you from making the purchase. In .pdf format readers can search for the words they are looking for, though should this be released in print I would highly recommend adding the page numbers.
Style: Despite the fact that this is a dictionary, it stands apart from others because the style of the content is clear yet interesting (at least to those of us who want to learn more about the industry). I found it to be easy to read for pages on end, which is grueling with most reference books. The writing style and the formatting pair nicely, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and informative book that would be a great addition to anyone’s reference shelf.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.