What is the Agency Price: The price at which Apple sells the title through iTunes. All prices must be in dollar increments that end in .99, except if you set the price for $0 (i.e., free).

What is a BarCode: A machine-readable image on the back of books to indicate ISBN and possibly the price. Barcodes are required by many retailers for print products that they carry. This can be in the form of an EAN (European Article Number) barcode, used for books, or a UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode, used more commonly in the US for non-book products.

What is Content: The chapters or other formal divisions of a book or e-book.

What are Contributors: Up to three contributors (e.g. authors, editors, illustrators, etc) may be identified with a book. These are saved and communicated to retailers via Lightning Source catalog information.

What is a Copyright: A form of intellectual property, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to that work’s publication, distribution, and adaptation for a certain time period. After the time period, the work is said to enter the public domain. For information on US copyright laws, visit

What is a Description: This brief description of the book will be communicated to distribution partners who wish to describe and market the book on their website(s) and to their customers. We recommend that you provide a book description for all new books to assist booksellers in presenting your books to their customers. The book description should be at least 40 characters, but should not exceed 4,000 characters including spaces. In addition, no HTML tagging, bullets, or other special for- matting should be embedded.

What is Digital Rights Management (drM): A system or technology used to place limitations (in regards to access or copying) onto digital content (books, movies, music, etc). A publisher or author, not the retailer, determines the level of restrictions applied to it. This includes how many times content can be downloaded for a single purchase, and the number of devices (computers, readers, etc) to which the content can be transferred. DRM is usually administered by those that convert or sell the content.

What are Direct Store Programs: A web portal from e-retailers, such as Apple and Barnes & Noble, where you can upload your content and then post for sale only in their online store.

What is a Distributor: A party that handles all fulfillment, credit, and collections on behalf of a publisher. A distributor looks for an exclusive agreement with the publisher within geographic areas and types of markets and, therefore, is likely to stock all titles from a publisher in their warehouse. In the case of the book industry, a distributor would sell to retailers and to wholesalers.

What is a Download: The act of transferring a file from the Internet to your computer or mobile device.

What is an E-Retailer (Online Retailer): An online retailer that sells books, both physical and and digital, and often other related merchandise to readers. E-retailers source their products from various players in the supply chain including publishers, wholesalers, distributors, and fulfillment companies.

What is an Edition: Version of a work. A new edition means that there have been a series of corrections and/or a new feature added (such as a preface, appendix, or additional content), or that the content has been revised.

What is an Electronic Book/e-book: Digital equivalent of a conventional printed book. E-books are read on personal computers, smartphones, or readers. There are many formats available; some can be used on multiple devices while others are only available on certain devices.

What is an EPUB (.epub): A format from the International Digital Publishing Forum, “.epub” is the file extension of an XML format for digital books and publications. EPUB reflows content, so that text can be optimized for the display screen being used at the time.

What is File Transfer Protocol (FTP): A way to transfer files to and from websites without using a browser. Usually requires FTP client software.

What is Fulfillment: The process of filling orders. Fulfillment firms usually provide storage, pick, pack, and ship services for publishers. A company can also offer file creation, storage, and delivery to online retailers or e-books. Could also be called Digital Distributor.

What is an Imprint: An imprint is a trade name used by a publisher to identify a line of books or a publishing branch within the publishing organization. An imprint is distinguished from a corporate name in that it does not represent an entity with a corporate life of its own. The imprint appears on all books produced in the line. Imprints are optional and not required.

What is an ISBN (International Standard Book Number): A unique 13-digit number provided by your country’s ISBN agency and assigned by the publisher to identify a particular format, edition, and publisher of a book. ISBNs are used worldwide as a unique identifier for each book title/format combination. They are used to simplify the distribution and purchase of books throughout the global supply chain.

What is a .JPG or .JPeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group): An image file format ideal for digital images with lots of colors, such as photographs and the cover image for your book.

What are Keywords: Single words or short phrases that describe your book and help improve search results.

What is a Market (Channel): Bookselling outlets are often grouped by the type of customers they service. Examples include traditional bookstores (known as trade), big-box stores (e.g. Costco, Target, Wal-Mart), religious bookstores, gift stores, libraries, and educational accounts. E-commerce or sales through an online channel are another market channel.

What is Metadata: Details about your title that booksellers and buyers need to know. It includes details specific to a particular form of the book (e.g. price, hardcover, paperback, publication date) as well as general information that may apply to all forms of your work (e.g. author, description, table of contents).

What is Offset Printing: Printing on a traditional printing press where many copies of a book are produced at one time.

What is ONIX: The international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information via electronic form. This XML standard is commonly used by retailers, distributors, and wholesalers to communicate with each other about books that are available for sale.

What is the On Sale Date: The date to determine when a book may be sold by retail partners.

What is a Page Count: Page count is the total number of pages in the book, including blanks and front matter. The total number of pages must be evenly divisible by 2.

What is a PDF (.pdf): A file format developed by Adobe to allow the creation and sharing of documents that will look and print the same on any machine.

What is Print on Demand (POD): Printing, usually from a digital file to a digital printer. In this case, the physical book is only printed when it is ordered. The exact number of copies ordered is what is printed. No extra copies are kept on warehouse shelves.

What is the Publication Date: The date on which a retail consumer or library may take possession of a product.

What is a Publisher: The entity that owns the legal right to make the product available. This can be the same entity as the author, a company formed by the author or a group of authors to publish their own works, a self-publishing service provider that assists the author in bringing the book to market, or a traditional publishing company that purchases the right to publish a work from an author.

What is a Reprint: A new batch of printed copies without substantial changes.

What is a Retailer: A store that sells books, and often other related merchandise, to readers. Retailers source their products from various players in the supply chain including publishers, wholesalers, and distributors.

What are Returns: Historically, publishers grant booksellers the right to return unwanted and/or overstocked copies of books. These books are considered “returnable.” As books are returned, booksellers charge publishers for the cost (i.e. their purchase price) of any books returned and expect to be reimbursed. The cost of returned books is either deducted or netted against the proceeds of book sales of the publishers’ titles in the month returns are shipped to the publisher. Lightning Source supports standard industry conventions by allowing publishers to designate whether or not their titles can be returned. The publisher can make this designation at the time of initial title setup.

What is Non-Returnable: Select this designation if you do not want to allow your titles to be sold on a returnable basis. Lightning Source will not accept returns from booksellers for any title so designated.

What is Yes-Deliver: Select this designation if you want to allow your titles to be sold on a returnable basis and you would like to receive a physical copy of the book returned. Lightning Source does not guarantee the condition of the book being returned.

What are Returns to US addresses: If you select this option, you will be charged for the current wholesale cost of each book returned, plus a $2.00 per book shipping and handling charge.

What are Returns to non-US/international addresses: If you select this option, you will be charged for the current wholesale cost of each book returned, plus a $20.00 per book shipping and handling charge.

What is Yes-Destroy: Select this designation if you want to allow your titles to be sold on a returnable basis and you would not like to receive a physical copy of the book upon its return. If you select this option, you will be charged only for the current wholesale cost of each book returned. No shipping and handling fees will apply. Lightning Source will destroy any returned books that it receives if this option is selected. Lightning Source allows you to change the return designations of a title at any time after initial title submission with 45 days prior written notice. You have the ability to change the return designation from your Dashboard. Select “Edit” and progress through to step number 4 of the process. Publishers may check the sales and returns activity of any or all titles at any time by logging into our publisher secure website.

What is the Status: Indicates the availability of the book. The book industry uses terms, such as forthcoming (going to be published in the future), active (available for purchase now), and publication cancelled (item will not be published now or in the future). When telling customers about your title, you may be asked to supply this information.

What is the Subject: The Lightning Source distribution network partners use Subjects to categorize books. These categories briefly describe the content of a book. Retailers, distributors, and libraries require you to select at least one subject.

What is the Suggested Retail Price: Publishers determine the suggested retail list price on all titles in all markets. If pricing is not submitted the title will appear as unavailable for sale in that market.

What is a Territory Right: The rights of a distributor, granted by the producer or supplier, to sell a product in a particular geographical area.

What is the Title: The title information placed in this field will be used for all reporting and re-seller catalog communications (where appropriate).

What is a Trade: Refers to traditional book-selling channels including independent bookstores (e.g. a single store, a local group of stores) and chain bookstores (e.g. Barnes & Noble, Hastings, Books-a-Million).

What is a Trade Discount: An amount or rate by which the catalog, list, or suggested retail price of an item is reduced when sold to a re seller. The trade discount reflects the re-seller's profit margin

What are Trading Terms (aka Publish er Discount): Each publisher will need to set trading terms with each customer. When selling to distributors, wholesalers, or retail bookstores, you are expected to quote a price that allows them to resell the book and make money on that sale. First, you will set the retail price (the price the reader buys at) for each geographic market in which the product is available. This can be expressed in the local currency or in USD. Then you will set the price at which the distributor, wholesaler, or retailer would purchase from you.

What is a Wholesaler: A business that obtains books from publishers and their appointed distributors in order to fulfill orders for retailers and libraries. They offer nonexclusive distribution to publishers. Wholesalers will stock certain quantities of titles, but will usually not warehouse your entire inventory. Wholesalers meet customer requests for packaging books across a set of publishers and deliver the goods quickly to meet retailer or library needs.

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