Acronyms for authors

Acronyms for authors by CK Van Dam

Every industry has jargon and acronyms – code words that “insiders” automatically understand. The writing and publishing industry is no different. I must confess that even after publishing two books, I still find myself Googling some of these codewords.

For instance?

For instance, HEA. That’s author-talk for Happily Ever After. Here’s how to use HEA in a sentence: Does your novel have an HEA?

How about ARC? I learned that ARC stands for “Advance Reader Copy.” An ARC is a pre-published book that is sent to an elite group of readers. The job of ARC recipients is to read the book and provide honest feedback on the storyline, the characters, even the title and (sometimes) the cover. In my advertising days, we would call this a Focus Group.

WIP? That’s easy: Work in Progress. It’s what authors say to one another: Do you have a WIP? (Of course, every author has at least one WIP…)

Then, there’s KDP and KENP. Those are very important acronyms. KDP is shorthand for Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon’s publishing division. And, if a book is listed on Amazon Books, KENP or Kindle Edition Normalized Pages measures and reimburses authors for pages read by Kindle subscribers.

Here are a couple more acronyms:

MG – that stands for Middle Grade Fiction. No, that’s not a rating system. It’s the age of readers. Middle Grade readers are usually 8 to 12 years old. These books are often the first non-picture books for early readers.

YA – is short for Young Adult. YA books can be almost anything. They target readers aged 12+, including adults. These are longer books, usually fiction, that can include more adult themes – within limits, of course.

And that’s a little “inside baseball” of publishing.