Publishing Jargon-Buster: Ten Words Unpacked

Tor-UK-logoI was a bookseller for ten years, I’ve been a librarian for nearly 20, and a published author for more than ten, and I still learned a few things from this article.

In publishing, as in any other industry, we scatter our days with curious and unusual words which we take for granted. But even for us, new ones pop up to surprise us every now and then. Thinking of Blippar and Wibalin here—though I thought for a while that our books were bound with wibbling. Which made me laugh! Here to entertain and explain are ten bits of jargon, don’t use them all at once….

3) GSM

Grams per square metre: a term used to specify the weight of paper. As an example, a standard piece of A4 paper is 90gsm and a standard printed fiction book might be printed on 52-120gsm. An illustrated book might be printed on glossy “photographic” paper so the pictures show up well, on a heavier weight of paper than used for a standard novel.

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One Reply to “Publishing Jargon-Buster: Ten Words Unpacked”

  1. I was never actually in the publishing industry, but I’ve always thought kerning was strictly aesthetic–bringing certain letter pairs closer together. What the article describes as kerning (to fit more text in the same space) is what I’d call tracking: It’s an entirely different process. Kerning involves specific pairs, tracking involves between-letter spacing in general.

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