What Do These Letters Even Mean?: The Acronyms of Book Blogging

Posted June 15, 2016 by Carlisa in Bookish Thoughts / 20 Comments

bookish acronyms

A few months ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw a tweet that made me stop for a minute or two. Lillie and Mariam were having a little bookish conversation…but I couldn’t figure out what exactly Mariam was saying. Here’s a screenshot and maybe you can see why:

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 3.53.17 PM

There are five acronyms in that one tweet. Which I applaud Mariam for because we only have 140 characters and we gotta do what we gotta do, right? But I had no idea what they meant. I figured out a couple of them…and some of them are book titles that I’m still not 100% sure about (Pssst, Mariam…What is ITA and NF?), but I got the idea then to compile all of the acronyms that I could think of and make kind of a glossary of them. It’s been months since then, like literally five months…but a few weeks ago, my other friend Ali (who has a newer, but very awesome blog that you should check out) asked what shipping meant, and the idea came back to me.

So I’ve been scrolling through Twitter and Goodreads for every acronym that we could use (and, boy, do we use a lot)…I phoned a friend and asked for my Twitter friends thoughts…and I made a list! Which probably honestly isn’t complete, but here we go!

Reading Status

TBR: To Be Read
DNF: Did Not Finish
RTC: Review to Come

Describing Characters

OTP: One True Pairing…aka the two people you will always root for
NOTP: (Pronounced “No-T-P”) The opposite of an OTP
MC: Main Character
POV: Point of View
POC: Person of Color
F/F: Female-female romance
M/M: Male-male romance
OC: Original Character

Book Formats!

ARC: Advanced Reader’s Copy
eARC/DRC: Digital Reader’s Copy
PB: Paperback
HC: Hardcover
MS: Manuscript
FC: Finished Copy


SF: Science Fiction or Speculative Fiction
SF/F: Science Fiction/Fantasy
UF: Urban Fantasy
PNR: Paranormal Romance
MG: Middle Grade
YA: Young Adult
NA: New Adult

Bookish and Social Media Websites

GR: Goodreads
NG: Netgalley
EW: Edelweiss
PW: Publisher’s Weekly
TBD: The Book Depository (You’ll mostly see this on Giveaway posts)
IG: Instagram
TL: Timeline
FB: Facebook
SEO: Search Engine Optimization


I’m sure there are more than these two, but I’ve never been to any, so these were the only ones that came to mind. Let me know if there are others!

ALA: America Library Association (Technically this one is an organization, but when people talk about going to ALA, they’re talking about their bi-annual convention.)
BEA: Book Expo America
YALC: the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention


If you don’t know, memes are posts that we do weekly and then link them up together, so that we can read and comment on them. The only one I really ever do is TTT, but they’re all wonderful!

WOW: Waiting on Wednesday
STS: Stacking the Shelves
TTT: Top Ten Tuesday
SS: Selfie Sunday (not really a post meme, but a picture one?)

Other Random Gems

ISO: In Search Of
PSA: Public Service Announcement
DM: Direct Message
RT: Retweet
ATM: At the Moment
TMI: Too Much Information
MIA: Missing in Action
TFW: That Feeling When…
SMH: Shaking My Head


And then there are the books. Basically any book ever can be become an acronym, so there’s no way I could list them all here. Literally any book with two or more words in the title can and probably will become an acronym. Especially on Twitter where we fight for every character. But there do seem to be some title acronyms that are more popular, so here are some of the ones that I encounter most frequently on Twitter:

TDM: The Darkest Minds by Alexander Bracken
ACOTAR: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
ACOMAF: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
TOG: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Sarah’s books seem to be especially acronymizable [?])
HP: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling (Forever and always)
ADSOM: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
AGOS: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Scwab
TRC: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
TRK: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
GOT: Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
ASOIAF: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Whew! I think I got them all. Seriously, if you have any others that you can think of, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list! Or if you still don’t understand based on my vague, one-or-two word answers, I can expand on them as well. This was fun though! It really kind of is like learning another language when you jump into the bookish Twitter scene, but don’t worry—you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

  • Ali (@ thebandarblog)

    This is amazing Carlisa! I’m so bookmarking this page so that I can refer to it later when I’m clueless. Seriously this post needs to come as part of a “welcome to the book blogging world here is your starter package.” Also, thanks for the shoutout! I have been looking forward to this post since you mentioned it, so I excitedly opened it – imagine my surprise when my name was there! Anyway, awesome post. *bookmarks*

    • Thanks Ali! You were the one who actually got me to get into gear and write this, so of course I gave you a shout-out! 🙂 I included a lot, but I’m pretty sure there are still a ton that I’m missing!

  • that is a LOT of acronyms! I’m always so lost when it comes to this, so thanks for sharing! I’d add in YALC -The UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention 🙂
    (also basically on the same topic – I don’t like using OCD to describe things that are really not OCD. Not to criticise anyone but I can’t not say it.)

    • There are so many! But I’m sure I’m still missing some—including YALC, which I will add right now! Also, good call about the use of OCD; I cropped it out of the screenshot because I totally agree with you on that.

      • I’m always especially confused when it comes to series and books’ names! I have to look them up basically every time. Thanks! I felt hesitant pointing it out because someone’s name was obviously connected to it.. but I take these things a bit seriously and can’t ignore it 🙂

        • Yeah, don’t worry about it. I’m glad you said something! I don’t want to be insensitive in any way. I’m the same with the word “retarded.” I don’t even like to type it here, but I cringe when it’s used as an insult against something.

          And yes, I think book titles are the worst because there are *so* many of them, and we don’t see them as often so we don’t know them all—at least that’s how it is for me.

          • It wouldn’t have been on you anyway 🙂 Yeah, I’ve got the same with a lot of things. Like if a friend says they’re really depressed I get really upset when they actually just mean they’re disappointed or sad.

            Yes! Seeing book name acronyms on twitter and wanting to take part in a discussion but having no idea which book it actually is… 😉

  • Good post! thanks 😉

  • Evona Evonica

    Great post, Carlisa! FC and RTC are new to me:)

    Also, I think that tweet is talking about The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken–“I own Never Fade and In The Afterlight in hardcover but The Darkest Minds in paperback.”

    • Ahhhh that totally makes sense. I knew The Darkest Minds, but I don’t know the sequel names as well.

  • Chrystal M

    Thank you! Many I knew, but there are a few that are new to me. The book ones are a little harder to figure out sometimes, but I’ve been catching on to the popular titles lately. 😉

    • Yeah they are because they’re always changing!

  • I love this! I never realized how many acronyms and things we have. It’s funny how once you start becoming a part of something or getting more expertise in something or whatever, you just pick up the jargon naturally and don’t even realize that other people might not know what you’re talking about lol. I always have to remind myself to try and make sure I spell out the less common things like MC in my reviews since I didn’t know all these acronyms before I started blogging and figure everyone reading reviews on Amazon and GR might not either. I didn’t even know all of these, so thanks for making this list!

    By the way, paranormal romance goes by PNR 🙂

    • That’s a good thing to think about when you’re writing reviews. Definitely something I should try to do more!

  • When I first started bloggin, I really struggled with all the book name acronyms. I finally figured it out with ACOTAR.

    My Most Recent Discussion: Make New Friends, but Keep the Old: ReReading

    • Book names are hard because there are so many of them and the popular ones are ALWAYS changing. So once you figure out what some of the most-talked-about ones are, suddenly there are new ones.

  • This is such a useful post because I am always having to google acronyms! It always makes me feel so old that I have no idea what I’m reading and I’m not “down with the kids” and their shortened worlds! (I’m only 24, but still feeling like an old lady!)
    Usually if I am chatting to someone about a book or series then I will call it by it’s full title first and then after that refer to it as an acronym (unless the other person has already referred to an acronym.
    I will definitely be saving this post so I can refer back to it next time I get stuck on one!

  • Great post, Carlisa! There are a lot of acronyms in blogging, and it’s fun to see them all in one place here. 🙂

  • I love this post! I cannot tell you how many times I have to google an acronym I see on twitter because I have no idea what people are talking about. Book names acronyms still get me to this date, even for ones I have read.