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Bookish Glossary & Abbreviation Guide

Do you know your ARC from your TBR?

The book community has loads of abbreviations, acronyms and shorthand words which can make you feel a little out of the loop, if you’re not familiar with them.

With this in mind, here’s your definitive bookish glossary for all* [sic] the must-know book blogger phrases and abbreviations!

*Missing anything obvious? Post your suggestion in the comments!

The Definitive Book Blogging Abbreviation Guide
A-Z

A B C D E F G H I K L M N P R S T U V W Y

A

Affiliate Link 

If you make a purchase after following a link on a blogger’s website, they receive a small commission. Bloggers typically declare affiliate links to avoid a conflict of interest.

ARC

Advance Reader Copy (also sometimes known as Advance Review Copy). ARCs are made available for bloggers, reviewers, and readers in order to generate discussion around a book.

B

Book Haul

A popular trend on social media, Book Hauls are images or videos of a pile of books recently acquired.

Book Stack

Book Stacks are another social media phenomenon. Users may choose a theme (author, book cover colour, genre) and stack a small selection of books in an artsy, aesthetically pleasing way.

Check out #BookStack on social media for a visual bookish feast!

Book Tag

An article (typically a listicle) created by a blogger, who tags more bloggers to recreate their own.

My examples include Create your Own Fellowship Book Tag & My Life in Books Book Tag.

Book Tour

A social media marketing tool, utilised by authors and publishers to generate hype for a book. The author/publisher highlights coverage of their book across a range of blogs, giving both the blogger and the book more visibility. Win, win!

BookTube

Bookish content creators on YouTube.

Examples include Booksnest and A Frolic Through Fiction.

Bookstagram

Bookish content creators on Instagram.

BookTok

Bookish content creators on TikTok.

C

Cover Reveal

A marketing tool of authors & publishers. Lucky bloggers may receive the opportunity to reveal an upcoming book’s cover. Like Book Tours, this generates a great amount of excitement for both bloggers and books.

CW

Content Warning – designed to highlight content that may cause stress or upset amongst certain readers.

D

DNF

Abbreviated form of Did Not Finish (the book).

E

eARC

Shorthand of e-Advance Reader Copy. A digital version of a proof.

EW

Edelweiss; a popular platform where bloggers request review copies of books.

F

FanFic

FanFiction. FanFic is an often vibrant part of a book/movie/videogame’s fandom, where fans write fictional stories within worlds they love.

FF

Social media hashtag for ‘Follower Friday’. A way for bloggers to share appreciation of others within their network. A positive way to grow followers and readers.

G

GR

Goodreads. The most popular book database & social media platform. Goodreads allows users to track their reading habits, join forums, enter giveaways, and post reviews.

h

HC

Hard copy, i.e. hardback.

I

Indie Press

A book publisher without subsidiaries, nor owned by a larger corporate entity. 

Examples include Bluemoose Books, Bearded Badger Publishing Co., Canongate, Faber & Faber, and many more.

k

KU

Kindle Unlimited; a digital book subscription service offered by Amazon.

L

Listicle

A portmanteau of ‘list’ and ‘article’.

e.g. ‘4 Compelling Reasons to sign up to a Library’.

M

MC

Main character

MG

Middle-grade, often used to signify books aimed at middle-grade children (aged 8-12).

Mood Reader

Readers who have no idea what they’ll read next – they pick their next read purely dictated by mood. As opposed to readers who have a specific order.

n

NG

Netgalley.

Much like Edelweiss, Netgalley is where book bloggers can request advance reader copies of books.

New to Netgalley? Check out the The Simple Guide to Netgalley!

p

PB

Paperback.

POV

Point of View. Often used to discuss books which cover perspectives of different characters (think Game of Thrones).

R

Reading Slump

When you have plenty of choice, but cannot bring yourself to pick up a book and read.

RTC

Review to come.

S

Self-Pub

A self-published author.

SFF

Science Fiction & Fantasy. 

It somewhat baffles me that these two genres are lumped together given their overt differences.

Shipping

When a fan believes two characters should hook up. Shippers (noun) tend to make a portmanteau of the two characters’ names to identify their ‘ship’. Eg. Max Caulfield & Chloe Price in Life is Strange are known as PriceField

Shipping is part of virtually every fandom on the internet.

T

TBR

To be read. A person’s list of books they intend to read, but inevitably grows despite best efforts.

Often used in the context of a ‘TBR pile’ or ‘TBR list’.

Trad Pub

A book that has been published through traditional publishing channels (as opposed to self-publishing).

TW

Trigger Warning (see also CW – Content Warning) to give readers fair advance warning of content that may upset or distress them.

U

UF

Urban Fantasy, an increasingly popular genre.

V

VSS

Very Short Stories. Often accompanying the hashtag #VSS365, which prompts social media users to write a story within the character limits of a social post.

Find out more at vss365today.com.

W

WIP

Work in Progress.

Y

YA

Young Adult fiction.

Enjoy this Bookish Glossary? Let me know in the comments below,
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