Monday, June 18, 2007

Shades of Ambrose Bierce

Tom's Glossary of Book Publishing Terms is a witty collection of 're-definitions' reminiscent of Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary. Listed below are a few examples from his website.

EDITOR: A writer with a day job.

MAINSTREAM FICTION: The pretense that there is a group of readers who can be reached through writing that is sufficiently unspecific as to exclude no one.

NOVELLA: A short story that has not been edited.

LITERATURE: Designation applied to titles judged unsaleable.

AUTHOR: A large class of individuals (approximately three times as numerous as readers) serving a promotional function in book marketing or providing make-work for editorial interns.

After reading a few, the cynicism is catching. Here's one of our own:


A tangible catalog for future online purchases.

A reasonably priced (i.e. free) alternative to Starbucks.

A privately funded Boys & Girls Club of America a.k.a. "A Place to Go Besides the Streets."

A Daycare.

A place to make a list to take to the library.

The only place besides Ebay that will sell your self-published memoirs.