Welcome to our growing glossary of terms and acronyms that authors encounter during their workday. If there are definitions you would like to see added, please email us via the Contact link in the navigation bar above.
Akismet — software you can add to most blogs that filters “spam” comments and prevents them from appearing on your site without your approval. Free and paid accounts available.
API — Application Programming Interface. An API key is a source-code interface that allows two software applications to communicate and work together. Many online companies use API keys, including Google, WordPress and Microsoft.
Avatar — in computing, is a graphic image of a user. Avatars are used by video games like Wii (called Miis), and are also used throughout social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
BISAC — Book Industry Standards and Communications. These are codes that define the content of a book for metadata purposes. Every sub genre of fiction is assigned a unique, alpha-numeric code.
Blog — Short for Web Log, this is a web journal that is updated regularly with fresh content.
Bots — computer programs that perform highly repetitive tasks, such as visiting websites and seeking active email addresses embedded within the pages.
Browser — software program that allows the user to find and read encoded documents, often posted on the Internet. The most popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Mozilla and Safari.
CAPTCHA — Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. A CAPTCHA is a brief test that measures visual or auditory perception, thus proving a user is a human and not a bot. CAPTCHAs are often used on websites or blogs to verify that someone attempting to send email or leave a comment is human.
DMCA — Digital Millenium Copyright Act. A U.S. copyright law passed in 1998 that heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet by users while limiting the liability of online service providers.
DRM — Digital Rights Management. This is a way of encoding a digital book so that it cannot be copied. Some publishers and booksellers add DRM to books. Readers tend not to like DRM because it means they cannot copy a book file from one of their devices to another device. While DRM was created to prevent piracy of digital materials, pirates can generally break through the code and access the protected material.
Dynamic — refers to elements of web design that are changeable or programmable.
EFT — Electronic Funds Transfer. These allow for money to flow electronically from a payer to a payee and can (though not all do) exchange currencies in the process.
EPUB — EPUB is the distribution and interchange format standard for digital publications and documents based on Web Standards as set by IDPF. The current version of EPUB is EPUB 3.
Grog — A type of blog that is run and shared by a group of people. Grogs are popular because the members share the responsibility of creating the fresh content and growing the audience.
IDPF — International Digital Publishing Forum is a global trade organization that sets digital publishing standards.
Infographic — a visual blend of text and images to convey information
IP Address — Internet Protocol Address. Each device logged into the Internet or on a network must have a unique identifying address. These addresses are often logged by websites.
ISBN — International Standard Book Number. This is a system of numbering books, software, mixed media and other content publishing, distribution and library practices. ISBNs are recognized internationally and each unique edition of a work should have a unique ISBN. ISBNs must be purchased from an agency in the country where you reside.
ISO — International Organization for Standardization. (Yes, we know it looks like it should be IOS instead of ISO, read on…) Because ISO is an international organization whose name may be interpreted into many languages and have many acronyms, the organization adopted the name ISO, derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal.” ISO sets standards for business, government and society throughout the world.
ISP — Internet Service Provider. This is the company that provides you access to the Internet at your home, office or via cellular technology. Often, this company also provides telephone, wireless or cable services as well.
KDP — Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon’s self-publishing arm that allows authors to upload and distribute their books directly to Amazon customers.
Kobo — ereading service owned by Tokyo-based Rakutan, Kobo sells ereading devices, digital books and apps throughout the world.
LCCN — Library of Congress Control Number. Number assigned by Library of Congress once a U.S. publishers submits the mandatory deposit of newly published print book.
Metadata — structured information that describes, explains, locates or otherwise makes it easy to retrieve, use or manage an information resource. Metadata is really data about data. Online retailers require publishers to provide metadata about each book. This data includes title, author, ISBN number, BISAC codes, whether or not DRM should be added by the retailer and much more. Metadata is usually written in XML-code, but some retailers have simplified the process and allow self-published authors to provide the information via an online interface (Apple, KDP) or upload via an Excel spreadsheet (Kobo).
NetGalley — a web-based company that works with publishers to deliver secure, digital galleys to professional readers. Reviewers, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers, educators and those in the media may use NetGalley for free to request titles and read them before they’re published.
OSP — Online Service Provider. A company, organization or group that provides services online such as web hosting, chat rooms and forums.
Permalink — short for permanent link, this is the URL that points to a specific blog entry after it has moved from the front or main page of the blog to the archives. Permalinks often employ numbers, dates or the title of the blog post to make them unique.
PubIt! — Barnes & Noble’s self-publishing arm that allows authors to upload and distribute their books directly to B&N customers.
Static — refers to elements of web design that are constant and unchanging.
Tags (Amazon) — a way for customers on Amazon to assign keywords or labels to describe products (books) that become searchable. Amazon allows users to search for products by tag words.
Tags (WordPress) — key words to describe the content of a blog post. WordPress tags become part of the metadata of a post and are used by search engines to find Internet content. Tags allow users on Google to find your blog posts.
URL — Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the string of text, numbers and symbols used by browsers, email programs and other softwares to identify a network resource on the Internet. Network resources are files such as Web pages, text documents, graphics or programs. The URL consists of a network protocol (http://) and the host name (www.sitename.com) and the specific location (/thispage).