21 January 2012

Terms of the Trade - My Version

As I go along, I realize that I’ve been spouting terms and concepts like everyone would understand. To remedy my mistake, I’m going to offer my concepts behind the terms I’ve used. Of course, if I don’t cover one that you don’t understand, leave a comment and I’ll try to define it for you.
First, I’ll start with a few important ones:
Writer – everyone since they learned how
Author – the published writer.
This to me is an important distinction. Anyone can write, but an author is one who has made the journey and gotten through the gates to see their byline, their name, on a book cover, short story, or magazine article. From this definition, there is no distinction between publishing an e-book or a paper book.
“Traditional” Writer’s Journey – This is the path many early writers took, where they developed their audience through short works published in magazines and newspapers, then got the agent and the book contract.
“Accelerated” Writer’s Journey – This translates to the writer who goes straight to selling their first book, regardless of success. It’s still a rather traditional journey, in the fact that they are looking at the print medium and using an agent.
“Modern” Writer’s Journey – This idea takes into account the internet-publishing phenomenon, with the self publishing aspect being a part of this journey. While not as many writers of this journey end up with an agent and contract of a “traditional” publisher, it’s still possible. Plus, the world of publishing is evolving.
None of these paths is wrong. Each path has a very broad definition to allow for many aspects of the journey. Most of my journey follows the “Traditional” journey path.
Continuum – A span between two points where some information falls.
This is the standard definition of a continuum, but I need to add my personal assessment to this. For me, and for anything I post, continuums never reach zero or full on either end. That may not make sense, but I don’t believe anyone ever reaches a full absolute any more. The world has changed too much for absolutes to be possible and maintain anything.
Alpha Reader – The people you trust with your early work, those who try to find the errors buried within the text. Frequently, they see the manuscript before it’s polished.

Beta Reader – The people you trust with a polished manuscript, those who try to find the last glitches before you submit the item for publication. They see the polished manuscript.
Genre – the marketing pigeon hole that a piece of writing receives to make it easier to sell. Some people will know the pigeon hole they want before they write, others will write and find the pigeon hole later. I’m one of the latter.
Naturally, these are just a few of the many terms that are used. I’m doing my best to stay within the common definition that everyone expects. Sometimes, I’ll step outside that boundary. Are there terms I’ve used that you didn’t understand or that seemed out of the norm? Leave a comment and let me know!

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