ARC, DNF, Backlist, Canon. Do these terms sound Greek to you?
I was a part of Book Twitter long before I began book blogging in 2019. I was aware of terms such as TBR and DNF but some did confuse me. All thanks to the ladies at Book Dragons India with Nandini at the helm, I was quickly brought up to speed with the terminology.
Paying it forward, today I share some bookish terms every book lover must know. If you are a new book reviewer overwhelmed with the jargon or a seasoned one looking to brush up on your vocabulary, I am sure these terms will help you enhance your book blogging.
ARC / eARC
Advanced Review Copy. An unfinished copy of the book that helps both create a buzz before its release and to gain feedback before the finalized copies are published. Blog tours include ARCs sent to reviewers. The digital versions of ARCs are eARCs.
A list of older books available from the publisher. It may also refer to books by an author published prior to the new release. There is no set time frame but the books can be six months to a year old or more.
Book Tour / Blog Tour
A promotional tour conducted by the publisher, book marketer, or author to promote an upcoming or newly released book. The blog tour is a virtual book tour along the same lines where book reviewers are invited to read and promote the book on their blog, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. Similar to the book tour, it can include a meet and greet, interviews, spotlights, and giveaways.
A book haul is a book post featuring recently purchased books. It generally refers to a large number of books, at least five or more.
Unhaul is an activity or a book post featuring books that the reader wants to sell or give away. An excellent way to share the love of books and also make way for more.
A buddy read is when two or more readers decide to read the book at the same time and discuss it along the way. Consider it a smaller and more intimate version of a book club.
The original source, canon is a term used to signify the original works of a writer who created the characters over those works using the same characters and settings. True to its name, it is the yardstick. It can also refer to works representing a particular period. Pride and Prejudice is the most canonical Jane Austen novel.
Characters, Atmosphere/Setting, Writing Style, Plot, Intrigue, Logic/Relationships, Enjoyment. Created by the Booktuber Book Roast, the in-depth reviewing system is popular with both new and seasoned book reviewers.
Did not finish. It can be used as a noun, adjective, or verb. Simply put, you DNF a book you don’t wish to read anymore.
A reader who picks books based on the current mood and is not limited to the TBR pile. I am an out-and-out mood reader and have at least 2-3 ongoing reads.
An author from a marginalized group writing about their own community or experiences in comparison to an outsider. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of the most popular ownvoices books. Ownvoices can also refer to a reviewer. Most book promotions prefer ownvoices reviewers who can relate better to the narrative and also provide feedback.
Person of color or People of color. It includes a person or people who are not Caucasian (or white).
Black, Indigenous, or people of color. Although it is incorrectly used interchangeably with POC, BIPOC primarily emphasizes the historic oppression of black and indigenous people.
Point of view. It is the perspective chosen for the narration by the author. First-person refers to one or more characters and uses the pronoun “I”. Second-person involves the reader and uses the pronoun “you”. Third person is from the outsider’s lens and uses the pronouns “he, she, they”.
A reading marathon that focuses on reading within a particular time frame. It is often limited to a day or two and around a particular theme. It can also include activities such as reading sprints, bookish games, and more. #IndianFictionReadathon hosted by @shalzmojo in 2021 was a great way to explore diverse Indian reads that I would not have come across otherwise.
Review to come. At times, the book blogger may prefer to only rate a book and review it at a later time. For the lack of time or otherwise. RTC is often a placeholder used at Goodreads.
Graphical description of the sexual act in a book. Not to be confused with erotica, it refers to the explicit content and not the genre. Fifty Shades of Grey is a smutty book whereas The Brown Sisters Series by Talia Hibbert has a lot of smut but also discusses disability, mental illness, and domestic abuse.
In simple terms, a street team is a team of reviewers and book lovers who “hit the street” to promote a book or author. Most often volunteers, the street team helps create a buzz around the book from the cover reveal to the release. It also acts as a great sounding board to bounce off ideas for the author’s work in progress.
To Be Read. A physical or virtual bookshelf comprising books that one wants to read.
A trope is a tried and tested plot device or theme that is easily recognizable. Much similar to the “masala” in Bollywood movies. A book can have one or more tropes. Enemies to lovers and fake dating are some of the most popular romance tropes.
Simply put, a reading wrap-up or update is a detailed overview of books read in a month, quarter, or year. It generally includes short reviews and ratings. And can also include upcoming reads.
21 Popular Bookish Terms Every Book Lover Must Know: Acronyms and Phrases #BlogaberryDazzle #BohoPonderings Click To Tweet
I hope you are now well-versed with some of the book blogging terms. Stay tuned for the next part in the series where I will be sharing some more, particularly for book reviewers.
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