Indie Author Glossary D-F

Welcome to part 3 of our Indie Author Glossary, covering the letters G-M. We are continuing on our mission to break down the terms used in publishing. Helping give you easy to follow explanations so you get a head start on your publishing journey.


Imagine Facebook for books. You can build friend networks, great groups and share reviews. Every author should have their book on there and use it. But only if it feels like a good fit for you.

Google Play

Google’s ebook distribution option. An alternative to Kindle app for android users. Mixed views on it’s usefulness.


Very much a publishing term that is now only used in traditional publishing. Galleys are formatted books sent out as advance copies with a generic cover.


The part in the middle of two facing pages – often referred to as the gutter margin.


Books with a solid cardboard cover, rather than just a thick paper cover. They often include a dust jacket. You can do hardcover books via POD using IngramSpark but not KDP.

Hybrid Author

An author who has both types of publishing deals. Traditional and self published.


The old name for the Apple publishing platform, now known as Apple Books.


The name of a publisher or the name of a section within a publishing house. When you purchase an ISBN you assign this to an imprint. Note – this does not have to be a real company name.

Independent Publisher 

In the new world of publishing, nearly every indie author is an independent publisher. This means that you have independently published your own work.

Indie Author

An independently published author who is not published under a traditional deal.


Everything that sits within the cover of a book. This term is used a lot in formatting, when we talk about the interior formatting and design of a book.

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)

The worldwide system for identifying books. Every print book is assigned a unique 13-digit number that allows easy searching for your book.

KDP and other groups supply free ISBNs, but it’s always best for authors to own their own ISBN.


A formatting style that is used in nearly all books. This style means that the left and right margins are evenly set down the side of a page.


Kindle Direct Publishing platform. The system owned by Amazon where you can upload your ebook and print book for sale directly to Amazon.


Used to help people find your book when searching online. Keywords can be a very important part of your book positioning strategy for online distribution platforms.


Amazon’s ebook reader, and reading app. Every indie author should consider publishing a kindle version of their book.

Kindle Direct Publishing



The third major player in the ebook distribution game after Amazon and Apple books. Kobo is a good platform for authors with a wide distribution model.

Kindle Unlimited

An Amazon subscription plan that allows readers to borrow books for a monthly fee. It’s very popular and supported heavily by Amazon.


The way the text, images, headings, graphs and other elements are set out on each page. The layout of a book is incredibly important to its success. Bad design or layout is one of the easy markers of a poorly produced self-published book.

List Price

The recommended retail price of a book (RRP). Within indie publishing this is set up the author. Sometimes distributors will ignore this and set their own price for books.

Media Kit

A collection of materials including blurbs, reviews, images and quotes that can be used by press outlets to promote you and your book. A good digital media kit will lower the barrier to blog or media coverage for indie authors.

Mobi File

The ebook file format used by Amazon. This is proprietary format and is only used for Amazon kindle. This means that authors need to create two different ebook formats. They need a mobi for Kindle and an ePub for everywhere else.

Where to Next:

We hope you enjoyed part 3 of our Indie Author Glossary. We’ve had a little gap between parts but will be finishing the rest soon. You can also see Part 1 (A-C) and Part 2 (D-F) in our Indie Author Guides. If you’d like to know when we’ve got the full list up, just join up to our author newsletter. We email about once a month with our latest guides, tips and specials for authors. Otherwise, do have a look at our full list of Indie Author Guides and make sure you come say hi on one of our social channels. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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