#SpankA2Z: J is for author, publishing JARGON

A2Z-Logo-C1-300x198Welcome to day 10 of the 2nd Annual Spanking A to Z blog challenge. Throughout June, spanking fiction authors will post a blog corresponding to a different letter of the alphabet, beginning with A and ending with Z. Many of the blogs, including mine, will focus on some aspect of spanking and/or the authors’ books, but you’ll also run across many random, but fun topics.

When I first started writing and publishing, I kept hearing about “SWAG.” I had no idea what SWAG was, and I was too embarrassed to ask, so when an author I knew asked if anyone wanted any, I said, “I do, I do.” She sent me a bookmark. I realized then that SWAG referred to promotional items, but I still didn’t know what the acronym stood for. I don’t recall if I asked somebody or Googled it, but I now know it stands for “Stuff We All Get.” (My husband calls its, “Shit We All Get.”).

Are you mystified by some of the terms authors toss about? In August 2014, I complied a glossary of author/publishing lingo. For Spanka2Z,  I updated it with some spanking romance terminology.

J is for Jargon

AP – Age play.

ARC – Advance Review Copy. An early pre-published version of an author’s book that is sent out for review.

DD — Domestic discipline. A consensual relationship in which one person has the authority to physically punish the other.

DP – Double Penetration (vaginally and anally).


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D/s – Dominant/submissive – more than a DD relationship but not quite BDSM.

Erotic romance v. erotica – The line between the two genres is fine and squiggly, and  labeling can be a result of marketing, but there is a difference. Erotic romance focuses on the growing love relationship between two people. Sex enhances the story, but it isn’t the focus. Take away the sex, and you still have a story, although it may not be as good. In erotica, the sex is the story–the love relationship is optional. Take away the sex, and there is no story.

Ebook – An electronic book that is read on some sort of computer device as opposed to print. Ebook does not mean self-published. An ebook can be published by Random House or HarperCollins, by an established ebook publisher such as Blushing Books or Loose Id–or it can be self-published. Ebook only refers to the electronic format.

HEA – Happily Ever After. The ending of a romance when the hero and heroine end up together forever.

HFN – Happy For Now. The hero and heroine of a romance end up together, and it’s happy, but their future is not set in stone.

HoH – Head of Household. The leader or spanker in a DD relationship.

Indie—Independently published. Typically used to describe one who is self-published. Some people use this term to refer to e-book publishing houses as well.

K—the number of words in thousands that an author has written. If an author says she “did 3K,” she hasn’t run a race, she’s written 3,000 words on her manuscript.  K is a metric term meaning 1,000 (Kilo).

KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing. Self-publishing for Amazon’s Kindle.

KU – Kindle Unlimited. For a small monthly fee readers can borrow an unlimited number of books. It’s often referred to as “free” because there is no charge for the individual downloads beyond the small monthly fee.

M/s – Master/slave

M/M—A romance between two males. In general, this is a romance between two gay men that is targeted to a heterosexual female audience.

M/F/M, M/M/F – A ménage a trois. M stands for male, F for female. The order of the M & Fs is significant. M/F/M indicates the men have sex only with the female. M/M/F indicates there is sexual activity between the males as well as with the female. So you can also have F/F/M & M/F/F.

NaNo, NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month. Every November writers can sign up and pledge to write 50,000 words during that month. That’s a lot of writing!

New Adult – Fiction that is aimed at adults in their early 20s. The characters are about that age and face the issues that adults that age deal with. Not to be confused with Young Adult, which features teenagers.

Novel – a work of fiction that is at least 50,000 words (and generally longer. A typical novel would be about 70-80K).

Novelette—A story that is between 7,500 word and 20K. Less than 7,500 words would be a short story.

Novella—A short novel, ranging from 20,000 words to about 50,000 words (although some people put the upper limit at 40K).

Pantser—One who does not plan out their story in advance before writing. Stands for writing by the seat of one’s pants.

Plotter—One who does plan out a story in advance. Often in great detail.

OTK – Over the knee. A classic spanking position.

POV—Point of View. The perspective of the story though the eyes of one character.  POV does shift from chapter to chapter or scene to scene, but in general it is considered poor writing to shift POV within a scene. Sometimes inexperienced writers shift POV without realizing they are doing it.

RT — Romantic Times. A book review magazine that holds a ginormous annual publishing conference. Generally, RT refers to the conference itself.

Smexy—A romance that is considered to be “smart” and “sexy.”

SWAG –  An author’s promotional items. Stands for Stuff We All Get.

TTWD – That Thing We Do. Generally a generic euphemism for spanking.

TiH – Taken in Hand. The spankee in a DD relationship.

WIP – Work in Progress. The story the author is writing.

YA – Fiction targeted to a “young adult” audience and/or is written with young adult characters. Young adult is a euphemism for adolescent, although many adults read YA. Twilight is a YA novel. Fifty Shades of Grey is not.

In general, you should avoid acronyms in writing, the exception being if you’re writing for a targeted audience that knows the terminology. But spell out the term the first time you use it. (I goofed in Reasonable Doubts (Rod and Cane 5)  and used Hoh first. I didn’t define it until later in the book. A reviewer called me on it.)

Please visit the other authors of SpankA2z

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2 Responses to #SpankA2Z: J is for author, publishing JARGON

  1. Rollin Hand says:

    Geez, I miss FB. This is the only way I talk to you guys now.
    One small quibble and that is on erotica vs. erotic romance. You said with erotica, “Take away the sex, and there is no story.” Not so for everyone. Some writers do a very good job of creating a story line that could stand on its own as a mystery or adventure. The one that got me thinking along this line originally was an old Grove Press book called “The Sign of the Scorpion,” a PI missing person mystery.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I would argue then, that the story would be a mystery, albeit an erotic one. But again, the line is squiggly, and often authors label a story as erotica because of the market potential. I put Irresistible Attractions in erotica, even though it is a romance.

      I hope you can get reinstated on FB.

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