Indie Author Glossary T-Z

Welcome to part five of our Indie Author Glossary, covering the letters T-Z. This is our last section of our mega glossary of terms, part of our mission to demystify the terms used in publishing. Just one more way we’re helping you on your publishing journey.  


Trade Discount

See Wholesale Discount.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishers purchase the rights to publish an author’s book, then cover the costs to bring it to market. Authors receive a proportion of the sales as a royalty. There are no upfront costs to publish in this model, apart from any costs incurred by the author before submitting the story to the publisher/agent.

Traditional Deal

The arrangement made when a traditional publisher signs on an author.

Trim Size

The size of the physical print book. This is very important for design and should be decided early on, especially for books with illustrations.


The font chosen to use in the book.


Also known as interior formatting or just formatting, this is where the story is set out on the page to look it’s best for print.

Unit Cost

The production or base cost of a printing and putting together a book.

Unsolicited Manuscript 

A manuscript or story that is sent to a publisher who did not request it.

Vanity Publishing 

Originally all self-publishing or indie publishing was considered vanity publishing. Now, with more growth in the industry, this term refers to a set of companies that prey on author’s dreams to vastly overcharge for publishing services. These companies are often very persistent and offer deals that must be signed quickly. Do your research, look for reviews, read our guides and don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to chat about any particular publisher.

Virtual Book Tour

Promotional strategy involving a series of blog and social promotions around the launch of a new book. Taking the book tour online.

Wholesale Discount 

The price that retailers or distributors pay for your book. You can set this yourself and often vary it by territory. Bookstores usually expect a wholesale discount of 50-55%.

Also known as trade discount.


A company that buys discounted books from publishers and sells them to stores at a lower than standard price. This allows the large discounts you see in box stores.

Where to Next:

We hope you enjoyed part four of our Indie Author Glossary. You can now see the whole shebang in one massive collection in our Indie Author Glossary. Bookmark that page and do let us know if we’ve missed anything.  If you’d like to know when we do our next guide, 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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