Writers vs. Authors

The question of today is, when does a person stop being a writer and start being an author?

Is it when they publish? When they get their first positive review? When they make their first dollar from writing?

Those possibilities seem somehow unsatisfying to me. While I think the Kindle Revolution has by and large been a good thing both for writers and readers, one downside is the amount of dreck that gets self-published these days. Some of these newly minted “authors” had good reasons for not being picked up by the old traditional publishers.

It sounds harsh, but we can’t all be Russell Wilson, and neither can we all be Orson Scott Card. Talent varies, as does skill, and one should never depend on one’s own opinion of one’s talent level. That’s one reason I’m not shy about showing my manuscript to people I know… I want their honest opinion of my level of talent and skill, and their ideas about how to improve the book. After all, they’re part of the reading public, and if you don’t please them (within reason) you won’t sell many books.

Of course, you also have to please yourself when you’re writing, or you might as well be working in a 9-to-5 job you hate. Balancing the two, making both the writer and the reader happy, is one of the keys to success, I think.

But I’m straying off the topic. When does a “writer” magically turn into an “author”? I’m not sure, but I welcome everyone’s input.

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “Writers vs. Authors

  1. TK

    I don’t think you’re going to like this answer, but I think an author becomes and author when they finish any kind of writing, be they the author of a blog, poem, e-book or novel. The quality of an author is subjective given that everyone has different tastes. There are published authors out there who I believe had no business ever being published. That doesn’t stop people from loving them. My opinion can’t make or break their status as an author.

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