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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

What Separates Authors From Writers.

The world of writing is a complex one, and although there may be millions of writers in this universe not all of them are authors.

Some people, myself included, actually prefer being referred to as a writer as the word conjures up the image of a young, wild free spirited person, eager to take on the world and its many challenges. But when I think of someone who is an author, I instantly picture Danielle Steel or Stephen King. Or someone who has been writing all their life and made a best selling career, multi million dollar deal out of their books.

And that's the difference.

So, are you an author or a writer?

Do you ...

  • Expect to get world recognition as soon as you hit the publish button on Amazon Kindle? A writer should know better than this, and everyone who publishes a book should keep their feet firmly on the ground. But an author is willing to go one step further by pushing their brand name out there. 
  • Fail to understand marketing and its importance. Writers will just often sit with their head in the sand when it comes to this topic. But authors will market endlessly and do whatever it takes to promote their work.
  • Spend money on your book? Writers may be horrified when they learn how much it actually costs to have their work professionally copy-edited but an author realises they need to do this in order to have the best possible chance of success. Every book also needs the best possible cover image too.
What are your thoughts on this matter?


  1. Definitely an author here. Putting in money (advertising/conferences) and time to help promote by books. Thoughtful column.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Louisa. I'm glad you thought my blog was useful.

  3. It wasn't long ago that I was plugging along at my writing wondering what to do with it when I finished. Now I love the blogosphere just as much as I love doing the writing! I have little patience left to worry about finding an agent or a publisher; I'm published, as far as I'm concerned. Visit my serialized novel, Listen to the Wind, at and let me know what you think.

  4. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. Writing is my passion; but to become an author is my lifes work. In order for ones dreams to be fulfilled, you must move forward with goals and aspirations. My dream is and has always been to see my books neatly placed beside the works of the great masters. Am I a writer yes, that much I can say with certainty; but to be an author that would be an honor...

  5. Interesting view of what an "author" is vs. a "writer". From your comments I definitely fall into the author category. After writing my memoir "Free My Heart of Grief To Love", I chose self-publishing - which of course requires the author to do the marketing (unless the author hires someone to do it for them). I am learning new things every day on how best to expose my book to the world. Funny thing is - lately I have experienced a sensitivity to people calling me a "writer", but not for the reasons you state. I don't feel that I am a writer because I do not have more WIPs at this time. My husband thinks I've been a little too sensitive about writer vs author. I feel validated. Thanks for your post!
    Sandra Moore Bernsen

  6. Thanks for commenting everyone.

  7. Well, a writer at this point. But I aspire to be an author, and posts like yours are helpful to me. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for commenting, Rebecca. I'm glad I could help.