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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don’t Send Me Your S.A.S.E

I was recently skimming through a book about book publishing and it contained a glossary of industry terms. Upon reviewing them I noticed a few things worth sharing with you.

1.      “New Adult,” an up and coming genre for books read by 18-29 year olds (kind of like YA, but with sex) was missing. Hard to believe a glossary would miss this hot new segment.

2.      But it did include “deus ex machine,” which I’ve never heard of in all my years in the industry. It refers to “any unlikely, contrived, or fast resolution of a plot in any type of fiction.

3.      The term “erotica” seemed to leap off the page. It should just be defined as “romance” because that is what people are buying now.

4.      The word “advance” is starting to look foreign, as many authors get little or no advance these days.

5.      Same with “auction.” There are so few bidding wars for homes and books.

6.      “Creative nonfiction” sounds like a made-up story being presented as true.

7.      Another term I’d never heard was “hi-lo.” It was described as “a type of fiction, that offers a high level of interest for readers at a low reading level.”

8.      One term that is quickly vanishing is “mass market paperback.”

9.      The term all authors are disgusted with was there: “platform.”

10.  Lastly, “SASE” looked outdated. In the digital era, a self-addressed stamped envelope sounded as current as a telegram.

Publishing is all about the words, and the words that reflect the business of publishing are changing.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013


  1. We get most of our submissions electronically these days, but for those that come in the mail, I still like to see an SASE in there. It may be "old school," but it bespeaks a certain level of professionalism.

    I hope you were commenting that the book had misspelled "deus ex machina," rather than actually never having heard of the concept. Did your literature classes never cover Greek theater?


  2. Interesting is how I currently feel about this. Not good or bad, just interesting. I do however wonder if there is underlined meaning in some of this that I simply don't get or you actually mean exactly what you've written. #3 alone has me puzzled; Romance and Erotica are not the same thing.

  3. I'm suprrised that you've never heard of a "deus ex machine", because it's by no means a new concept -- it's a plotting flaw that had existed ever since the first time a playwright ever found he's bitten off more than he could chew, and even Shakespeare himself had occasionally been guilty of allowing this to happen in his plays. Anyway, "creative nonfiction" (a euphemism for passing off tall tales as actual history) and "hi-lo" (which really should be called "books for retards"), along with erotica, are a tragic reflection of today's dumbed-down, historically ignorant, sexually perverse audience, and I've just made an oath before God that I will NEVER write anything that falls into these three genres.

  4. Okay, I won't send it to you. But I want you to check this philosophy paper service now. Don't miss it, friend!


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