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Are you stumped by new acronyms that have suddenly popped up and become part of the current lexicon in the publishing, marketing or advertising arenas? I’ve noticed new acronyms are born whenever there is a new leap in technology, such as the emerging field of ebook publishing. Here are definitions of some common and newly coined acronyms you’ll be sure to hear about, if you haven’t already.

AI — Adobe Illustrator

A vector-based graphic file format developed by Adobe.

BMP — Bitmap

A raster-based file format.

CMYK — Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black

A four-ink color system used by printers to print full color images. This is “process color” printing.

CTP — Computer to Plate

A technology used in the printing industry. A desktop-published document is imaged directly onto a computer plate, skipping the film negative state.

DPI — Dots Per Inch

A measurement for gauging resolution in printing. In printing it refers to the number of dots placed in a line within one linear inch in a halftone image.

DRM — Digital Rights Management

A proprietary file encryption that helps publishers limit the illegal sale of copyrighted books.

EBOOK — Electronic Book

A book in electronic form. Ebook files have file extensions of .mobi, .prc, .pdf, or .epub.

EPS — Encapsulated PostScript

A graphics file format developed by Adobe.

EPUB — Electronic Publishing

A file format for electronic books and Web publishing. The Apple iPad tablet with the iBookstore app, the Sony Nook, and the Adobe Digital Editions application all use this format to open eBooks.

FTP — File Transfer Protocol

A standard network protocol used to transfer files from one server to another over the Internet. Very efficient and fast.

GIF — Graphics Interchange Format

A file format developed by CompuServe and is used for bitmap images used on the Internet.

HTML — HyperText Markup Language

Standard coding protocol used for formatting and displaying text and graphics on the Internet. This language is used in formatting eBooks now too.

ISBN — International Standard Book Number

A unique 13-digit book identifier. Publishers purchase a separate ISBN number from Bowker.com for each book and every format of that book.

ISSN — International Standard Serial Number

An 8-digit unique identifier for a printed or electronic periodical publication.

JPG — Joint Photographic Experts Group

A file format was developed by this group to standardize compressed graphics files. Often used for images on the Internet, photos and large graphics.

LCCN — Library of Congress Control Number

A serially based system for numbering catalog records (books) in the Library of Congress.

MOBI — Mobipocket

A file format for eBooks used on the Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket Reader and other eReader devices.

OCR — Optical Character Recognition

Software that scans images of handwritten or typed words and translates them into editable text. It is widely used to convert printed books and other large documents into electronic formats.

PDF — Portable Document Format

A versatile file format that allows you to view the document on a variety of platforms (Macintosh, PC, UNIX, etc) using the free Adobe Acrobat reader.

PHP — Hypertext Preprocessor

A scripting language used to create dynamic web pages.

PMS — Pantone Matching System

A proprietary color ink system by Pantone. These premixed spot colors are used in the printing industry.

PNG — Portable Network Graphics

A file format for bitmap images that incorporates compression. It was created to replace the GIF format for Internet graphics and photos.

POD — Print on Demand

A printing technology that allows individual books to be printed one at a time, as they are ordered.

PPC — Pay Per Click

An Internet advertising model to direct traffic to websites. The advertisers pay the publisher (i.e. Amazon) each time the ad is clicked.

PPI — Pixels per inch

A measurement for gauging resolution in video or printing. In video it refers to spacing between the red, green and blue dots and in printing, it’s the number of pixels that appear in one inch.

PRC — Palm Resource Code

An alternate file format for eBook documents used on Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket Reader and other ereader devices.

QR Code — Quick Response Code

A square matrix barcode made up of little black and white squares. You’ll see them printed on products, marketing pieces and ads. When you use your smart phone to scan them, you’ll be taken to a website where a video or more information about the product or service is found.

RSS — RSS Rich Site Summary or (RDF) Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication

A family of web feed formats to publish updated works such as blogs, audios and videos.

SEM — Search Engine Marketing

A form of Internet marketing that promotes web page visibility in search engine results.

SEO — Search Engine Optimization

The process of improving a webpage rank in search engines such as Google.

TIF — Tagged Image File

A format for raster-based images such as photos.

URL — Uniform Resource Locator

The address of a particular file or page on the Internet. It usually begins with <http://www>

XTML — Extensible HyperText Markup Language

An update of HTML which works as well or better than HTML, but has certain additional requirements in coding.

FROYO — Frozen Yogurt

Just seeing if you’ve read through the whole list!


Karen Saunders is the owner of MacGraphics Services, a unique graphic design firm for today’s entrepreneur. Karen and her team of award winning designers help authors and small business owners design their books, build their brand, and market their business. Visit her website to download a free Book Media Checklist and a free eCourse on How to Create a Best-selling Book Design from the Inside Out: http://www.MacGraphics.net.

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