Much ado about names and descriptions

Describing your work so people know what to expect

Herbert Lui
2 min readMay 17, 2023


Photo: Jon Tyson via Unsplash

What’s the difference between a book, an ebook, a digital book, a pamphlet, a booklet, a brochure, and a bulletin?

By strict definition, they share a lot of common traits. They are all documents that hold words on them.

The main difference is what each word leads a person to expect. For example, a book is expected to be written by a credible author, with many years of thorough research, and professionally typeset and printed on paper.

Nowadays though, so many books are self-published that even more distinguishing features are needed; there are hardcover and softcover books, coffee table books, traditionally-published books and self-published (or independently published) books, amongst many others.

The same happens with other categories, genres, and formats. It’s just all about setting expectations, and giving other people an idea of what to think of something or someone.

Put a lot of thought into what you call your work, how you describe your work, and what your name means to people. It’s absolutely, 100%, worth the fuss.

Sometimes, people will make really important decisions based on the impression they receive on just a few words.

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Herbert Lui

Covering the psychology of creative work for content creators, professionals, hobbyists, and independents. Author of Creative Doing: