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Publishing Industry Terms

Ten years ago, when I decided to author a book, I wrote about what I thought I knew, something familiar to me, a realistic fiction novel about family secrets. It was fun and cathartic to write and yet it still sits, dormant, in a document on my computer. I quickly found out there was so much I didn’t know, there was so much to learn. Not about my family and experiences, but about writing, the publishing industry, grammar, genres, literary terms, social media presence, types of narratives, submission options, editors, the pitch, query letters, synopses, plot, characters, scenes, epilogues, prologues, writing voice and style, and so many other important things, like how to write certain scenes.

I will revisit this book one day soon, and I'll take the time necessary to rework it with everything I now know. I'm quite confident the rewrite will make this novel a page-turner because I've learned so much since the day I first sat down to write.


Knowledge is power, but there is so much info out there it can be overwhelming. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on things, something new pops up that you’ve got to drill down on because after all, as a writer, you want to keep improving.

If you're lucky enough to catch the attention of an agent and they can create buzz around your book and sell it, you'll be offered an advance. Most likely, as a debut author, your advance will be on the lower end.

For further details about author's rights, click the link.

I've interviewed several coauthors. To read about their coauthoring experiences and strategies, click on their interviews.

Sharing the costs and profits of a book comes into play when an author chooses to self-publish with the assistance of a Vanity Press who will carry out a range of services. For instance, the author will pay to have the company edit the book, design the cover, and help with marketing etc. A Vanity Press or similar company may or may not share the profits or rights of the book in questions. It depends on the company and their policies. As an aspiring author, you will need to drill down on the particulars and decide what's right for you.

Today's authors are fortunate to be able to hire a hybrid publisher who they will pay to do the above mentioned, but the profits and rights will remain with the author. The cost is usually higher for this type of publishing and one must always be aware of scammers. If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a scam.

If you choose to publish with Amazon, Smashwords, Apple Books, etc. the concept of sharing the cost and profits is moot because you are truly self-publishing and in control of you work.

Do your homework and choose wisely!

If you opt for this route, please do your due diligence. Research before you hire, and know your rights. A contract is a good idea whether you are the ghost writer or you're hiring a ghost writer.

The decision is totally up to the author, but be sure of your choice before you make this commitment.

A blurb can also be written by someone other than the author. Think of it as a review on the back cover. To learn more about blurbs and how to ask for them, click the link.

Comp titles or comparative titles are published books that parallel a writer’s manuscript in some way; same genre, or similar features. Add ‘em in a query letter to beguile an agent or publisher and reveal the spirit and heart of your book. It’s best if they are current and have had a good degree of popularity and success.

The above includes only a few literary tropes. There are so many more, such as the damsel in distress, horror tropes, sci-fi tropes, thriller tropes, mystery tropes, etc.


Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.



Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.


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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

I've gained a lot of tips and tidings on my writing journey and want to share what I know.

Besides my passion for writing, I'm a fitness enthusiast, and I love coffee, chocolate, and animals. I'm mom to two amazing young men, and I live on Long Island with my husband, four zany cats, and the sweetest dog ever.

Whether you're new to writing, ready to query, or about to submit your manuscript,  welcome, you've come to the right place.

About Me


Alyssa is Wordy's website administrator and tech guru. She holds a degree in Communication and has always enjoyed writing and marketing, both of which are highly useful skills for aspiring authors. 

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