J is for … Just about Nothing (but we’ll go there anyway)

Our A-to-Z journey through publishing legal terms hits a serious snag at the letter “J.” There just aren’t many publishing terms that land on this jewel of a consonant, and the ones that do don’t merit much discussion.

That said, here are a few “j” terms you might see (though rarely) in the publishing world:

The Jacket (aka “dust cover”) is the paper sleeve that fits over the outside of hardcover books. Many readers remove them, others preserve them carefully. I tend to pull mine off and set them aside to keep from tearing them while I read. Sometimes I even remember to put them back on when I’m through.

Japanese Vellum (aka “Japon”) is a high-quality paper designed to look and feel like vellum or parchment. It’s seldom used for book printing now, but was once in fashion for books the publisher wanted to give a “high class” or highbrow look.

To jog (or “jog the edges”) means to align the edges of a manuscript or other sheaf of papers so the edges line up neatly.

Justify or justification refers to the alignment of words on a page. Most manuscripts are “left-justified,” meaning the lines of words align evenly along the left margin of the page. “Center-justified” text is aligned to the center, and is often used for chapter numbers and titles.

Do you know any more publishing “J’s”? Hop into the comments and let me know!