Glossary and Acronym List

This glossary and acronym list helps make clear the meaning of the words and acronyms used in this collection. There are some terms where different people mean different things.

I use lower case for glossary entries as a convention.


application (app)

Application software (also called end-user programs) include such things as word processors, Web browsers and spreadsheets.


Abbreviated from American Standard Code for Information Interchange, it is a character encoding standard. ASCII codes represent text in computers and other devices. The first computer character-encoding schemes were based on ASCII.


A format for plain text documents similar to markdown but that allows for complex documents. It leverages the DocBook XML standard.


The person or entity who created the content of the book. Most often the author writes the text. If more than one person is involved, the word contributor is often used, especially for graphics, cover art, etc..



A brief listing of production information.


layout: glossaryTerm ---


An XML DTD used for structuring book texts. The text of the book contains XML markup that divides it up into parts, chapters, paragraphs, tables, lists, footnotes and so on. The markup is structural and semantic, rather than having anything to do with how the text content should be presented, and the docbook can be processed automatically to create ebooks, large print, conventional print, synthetic audio versions of the book.[1]


The book’s content at a particular point in time. Typically a first draft is followed by later drafts. The final draft is self-published.



An electronic version of a book that is read using mobile devices with reader apps or on a laptop or desktop if a reader app is installed. It is essentially a self-contained website in a zip file.


EPUB is an e-book file format with the extension .epub that can be downloaded and read on devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, or reader apps. It is a free and open standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub.[2]



A reference, citations or additional information that is not in the content flow, but is formatted at the end of ebooks and at the bottom of the page in print books. It typically uses a link to go from the footnote reference number to the footnote text. For print, the number still exists, but the finding of the footnote text is manual on the part of the audience.



Hypertext Markup Language.



An alphabetical list of specific key words in a book and the pages on which they are mentioned. This only applies to print books. eBooks presume full text search and don’t typically include an index.


The repetition of a process.



The design of a the pages. This book uses flowing layout that changes depending on the device screen size used. Even the print layout uses flowing content. Layout addresses the arrangement of text, images, titles, page numbers, and fonts used.



A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. It is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those. [3]



Portable Document Format. A file format that provides an electronic image of text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.

print on demand (POD)

Publishing only when an order is received in small batches as small as one book.


Prototyping for books is the activity of creating a table of contents or an incomplete version of the book being authored. Think of a prototype as a draft version of your book that allows you to explore your ideas and show the intention behind your content structure or the overall design concept to potential audience members before investing time and money in authoring content the audience may not value. It is much cheaper to change a book early in the authoring process than to make changes after you write the book. So, consider building prototypes early in the process. Prototyping allows you to gather feedback from potential audience members while you are still planning and designing your book’s content.



(1) The audience member reading the book. (2) A software application that lets people read eBooks on mobile devices and computers.


To make the book by manipulating the source content into the final output format, usually with a software application that automates the conversion process to speed it up.



A method of book publishing that bypasses traditional publisher organizations. The author has to perform the tasks that publishing houses do. Recent software apps make this much easier than it used to be. Services like Amazon, and distributor sites like Smashwords provide worldwide distribution and handling of sales transactions. The author is responsible for the marketing of the book. This book facilitates self-publishing.


Stanardized General Markup Language. A technical standard for complex mark-up. The predecessor of XML.



A computer character set that expands Ascii to include most characters in all the world’s languages.



Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

1. Definition from Harper Collins, at
3. Definition from Wikipedia at