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Imagining the Webs of History...

Publisher of Historical Fiction

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Language of Publishing

The terms and phrases used in publishing can be quite baffling, especially to new authors...and especially considering many of the terms are carryovers from the past and do not reflect current technology or processes. Take the term blue line for example. This refers to a printer proof for a one- or two-color printed piece. Today, a “blue line” is black printing on white paper, but these proofs once were blue printing on a yellowish paper that was similar to an opaque vellum. Hence the term blue line, which was often called a Dylux. Dylux was the trade name for the proof (like Xerox for an electrostatic photocopy). And blue lines were stinky.

This article covers many of the terms an agent, editor, or publisher may use that someone new to the publishing industry may not know, and that some experienced publishing professionals use incorrectly. However, this is by no means comprehensive.

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