Editorial terms – GH

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genre: a category of literature, such as fiction or memoir.

ghostwriter: an author hired to write a work that, in publication, is credited to another person. One area in which the ghostwriter is active is in writing biographies and memoirs.

global change: an automatic change that editors make or that typesetters can be asked to make throughout the text, using find and replace functions.

gloss: the definition of a word or term. Hence glossary.

graphic designer: see designer

gutter: the space between two pages or between the inside margins next to a book’s spine.


half-title page: the very first page of a book (after the flyleaf if there is one) that states the title of the book. See also title page.

halftone: a reproduction of a tone image in which the gradations of tone are produced by breaking down the image into a pattern of dots of different sizes, creating the effect of darker and lighter areas; the dots are so small that they achieve the effect of continuous tone. Publishers refer to black-and-white photographs as halftones (sometimes abbreviated to h/t).

hanging indent: where the second and subsequent lines in a numbered or bulleted list are indented to match the starting point of the text, not the number/bullet.

hard copy: any text provided as a printed paper copy rather than on screen.

Harvard system: see author–date system

headings: visually distinct separators between elements of a text, such as chapter heading (number, title, author of a chapter/article), or headings that divide a chapter or article into sections; see also running heads and subheading.

headlines: see running heads

headword: the word that begins a separate entry in a dictionary, glossary or index.

house style: the choices made by a publisher on the in-house styles to be applied to any text they publish; the standard approach of a publisher to editorial style considerations (spellings, hyphenation, capitalisation, use of italic/bold, abbreviations, treatment of headings, lists, tables, numbers etc). House style is important for achieving a consistent look for all texts issued by a publisher.

house style guide: the document produced by a publisher that lists their preferred styles to be applied to any texts they publish. Note that this is only a guide, not a set of rules – many publishers these days are happy to accept an author’s preferred style as long as it is applied consistently.