Self-Publishing Shouldn’t Feel Like Rocket Science!


Courtesy of NASA Images

Quite often I find people getting confused over all of the different terms that we use in the print world, which makes the task of getting a book printed all the more daunting. Here are some common terms, and their meanings. (All definitions that have an * were found on


1. to supervise or direct the preparation of (a newspaper, magazine, book, etc.); serve as editor of; direct the editorial policies of.
2. to collect, prepare, and arrange (materials) for publication.
3. to revise or correct, as a manuscript.
4. to add (usually followed by in ).
Editing is when someone reviews your book for grammar and syntax, essentially.

1. the general physical appearance of a book, magazine, or newspaper, such as the typeface, binding, quality of paper, margins, etc.
Formatting is creating the technical layout of your book interior.

1. to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.
Design is the artistic portion of format. For example, you design a cover.

1. a sheet or page margin trimmed so as to mutilate the text or illustration.
2. part thus trimmed off.
Any pages that need to have the image or color go right to the edge need to have a bleed. This prevents odd, thin white borders from appearing around the edges.

1. the number of pixels per inch in an image
We require of resolution of 300 DPI on all images, at the size that they will be printing, in order to prevent the image from appearing pixelated.

1. Dots per inch. This measures the number of dots of ink per inch.
The DPI of your image can be found in all professional image software, such as InDesign, Photoshop and Quark.

1. pertaining to a printed image which has been digitized; visible as a pattern of pixels; also written pixellated.
When something is pixelated, you can actually see the jagged edges and pixels printed on the page. This results from not having a high enough DPI, because the dots/pixels have to be larger, in order to cover the area, so the blending effect of the pointillism is lost.

1. one side of a leaf of something printed or written, as a book, manuscript, or letter.
A page is one side of a sheet.

1.the entire leaf of the printed thing, which contains two pages
A sheet contains two pages.


Are there any words that we missed here, that you would like to see on this list? Please send them to us at!