Friday, August 24, 2012

What Does it Mean to Become an Author?

I don't know.

Probably not the answer some of you were expecting.  For others, you know exactly where I'm coming from.

I can set up a Goodreads author page, which I have.

I can partner up with another great writer to share in the responsibilities of promoting our novels, which was announced earlier this week.  Thank you to all who've responded because you are all so darned awesome!!

But do I become an author now that I've declared my self-publishing intentions - much like a traditionally published writer has their book deal made public?  Or is it when the reader can hit the "Buy with one-click" button on Amazon?

I don't know.  But I'm learning.  A lot.

Perhaps when October 8th gets here, I'll feel like I've become an author. (first I have to finish final revisions and edits OMG what have I done???)

I doubt it, though.  I am a writer.  Maybe I've been a writer so long it's just ingrained in who and what I am.  The author title just gets to join along for the ride.

Writer and reader friends, what do you think it means to become an author?

43 comments:

  1. When I decided I wanted to be a writer, every time I had to fill out a form stating occupation I'd put writer. That was when I became a writer.

    This is such an exciting time for you. Enjoy every moment :)

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    1. Cool, Shelley. Perhaps you're on to something :-)

      And yeah, it's exciting and I'm trying to allow as much fun into the process as possible. I've been like a giddy kid and Gwen has been so patient with me.

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  2. We put too many hurdles into that definition "author." (Or rather, some people put too many fences up, to try and keep the club exclusive.) A friend of mine with an e-book deal has been excluded from a local author's group because her publisher is new and not on their approved list. Is she an author? Yes. Are other authors trying to withhold that title from her? Yes.

    You're an author Angela. Don't let anybody tell you different.

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    1. Well put, Dianne. I don't get why your friend is excluded. That really makes no sense at all -_-

      And thank you :-0

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  3. If you've published a book by any means, then you are an author!
    And Dianne's comment is sad.

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    1. I wonder, sometimes, why there's such a need for so much division, but then, it seems the way of humanity.

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  4. Hey, Angela, I've sent you a friend r/q on Goodreads. Interesting questions. For me, being an author means a whole different ballgame and like you, I'm still learning. With authorship (is that a word?) comes bigger responsibility. You're a public figure, have responsibility for not only writing, but promoting your stuff. People now look out for you and ask when the next book will be out. And you get to have fun and connect with lots of wonderful folks who support you in your endeavours. Have fun on the journey!

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    1. Hey Joy, I hope you got my acceptance :-)

      You make some excellent points. And if authorship is not a word, we're making it a word right now lol!

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  5. You are an author through and through! I think authorship comes with the desire to write a good story and deliver that story to readers with your best effort.

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  6. I've been so out of the loop, but SO cool you have partnered up to promote your first novel. When can I get my hands on it? Is that what the count down is for?

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    1. A lots been happening so come on with me and catch up :-)

      The countdown widget on my sidebar now is for Christine Fonseca's release of Transcend. It might be a good idea for me to get one of those babies after the cover reveal.

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  7. At first I thought I had an easy answer to your question, and then I realized I didn't.
    Authorship . . . is almost the same as being a writer. It just has that extra tweak, or edge, and it means just a little more. I don't know why. Is it just a perspective?
    I can say that I'm a short story author and published poet - I've sold a few of each for actual money and signed a few tiny contracts for them - but that doesn't seem to count for a lot of people out there.
    It seems to take a novel for that title of authorship.
    and I have one that will be finished soon . . . within the next few months, and then I'll be tackling the self-pub process and the Goodreads page.

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    1. Hey Tyrean, when you get ready for that self-pub part and want a place to crash, to share your Indie spirit and say, "Hey, check out my story!", you have a place here :-)

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  8. I have to agree with the first comment. When I made the switch in my mind from 'I will write a novel' to 'I write novels', I listed my profession as 'author/writer'. That, for me, was the moment I 'became'. LOL.

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    1. The differing perspectives can be very enlightening.

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  9. I think writer and author are the same. You writer, you're an author. You persevere, so you're a brave author. And now you're putting your work out there for others, so you're a helluva brave author! Kudos, Angela! I'll always look forward to hearing more from you.

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    1. Thanks, Barbara. Sometimes, it can be a little jostling when you read and hear so many things in the industry that agree with each other and contradict each other all at the same time lol!!

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  10. Don't tell me you've got the flashing neon sign above your head, too?! You know that one that says, "fraud," "fraud," "fraud!"

    Seriously, though. It seems to me that it's all a frame of mind. I like Nadja's answer:)

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    1. No doubt, Gwen. Taking the step to self-publish made me a little thoughtful of the boxes and categories. But I think I like being outside of the box and doing what we're doing.

      Go writers go!! And as Barbara mentioned, let's be hella brave about it!!

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  11. You've already made the decision to share your work with the world. You're already promoting it! You've got every right to call yourself an author. :) I know what you mean though. I've had short stories traditionally published, but I don't think of myself as an author.

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    1. Come on, Nick. You and I will say it together. We. Are. Authors. That did feel better saying it. :-)

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  12. That is a good question, Angela. I guess a writer is someone who writes, and I think technically an author is published in some way, but it's a pretty blurry distinction and it pretty much all boils down to butt in chair fingers on the keyboard either way :)

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    1. I have a sneaky suspicion that even after I publish NEVERLOVE, I'll continue to refer to myself as a writer. Publishness is an ever-pursuit that only stops when I decide not to write anymore...which I don't think will be anytime soon. :-)

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  13. I love how you put that 'that title just gets to go along for the ride'. So true! It will take time before you're comfortable with it, but soon you'll be calling yourself an author and not remember when it happened. But an author you will be my dear! I can hardly wait to read your novel!

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    1. It's so much fun, exciting and jittery all at the same time :-)

      And I just hope people enjoy it. But I better learn now to deal with the fact that there will be those who will not...with earnest.

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  14. I have no idea either Angela. I think that's a good thing, because it means we're still learning and growing. Keep at it!

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  15. I like the phrase "unpublished author". Let's see someone argue that one. :-)

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    1. HA! LD, you do know how to leave a person speechless lol!!

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  16. You're an author, babe. No doubt in my mind at all. I'm thrilled for you. Sorry I haven't been around...buried, you know...

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    1. Oh yeah, Christine. I'm learning each how "buried" an author can become lol!!

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  17. Perhaps the key is the difference between 'author' and 'successful author'. We all have to begin somewhere

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    1. Now that's a different angle to question I hadn't considered. Gives me food for thought. Thanks, Mike.

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  18. I think people become authors when they have a published book or more behind them.

    I.E. John Doe, author of Awesome Book.

    I on the other hand, almost think I'll prefer to remain a mere writer even when I'm published. ;-P

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    1. I think a lot of writers feel the same way, Misha :-)

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  19. I am a writer. But I am the author of several published short stories and non-fiction pieces written as a freelancer. I am also the indie author of In Name Only. When someone asks me what I do, I say, "I'm a writer."

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    1. You know, Carol, sometimes it's possible to over-analyze. I wonder if too many authors and writers do this when deciding what to "call" themselves. Writer sounds pretty good. Author too. Knowing me, I'll end up using them interchangeably just to confuse people lol!!

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  20. Hmm ... well from personal experience, I can say I really felt like an author when I could finally see my books available for sale and people started buying them. And then reviws popped up on Goodreads and Amazon, and blog reviews and Teaser Tuesdays and IMM's appeared involving my titles. That was when it all became REAL!

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    1. You touch on a point that I'm dealing with. Not a bad thing though. Everything still feels SURreal. But the need to get things done and done to the best of my ability are very real lol!!

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  21. The first time you tell or write a story.

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  22. I agree that the two words tend to be over-analyzed. I would describe my occupation as "writer", but I have authored a novel and a couple of short stories.

    Worry less about what you should call yourself and more about reaching out to as many readers as possible! ;)

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  23. Here are the definitions of "Author" from the Oxford Dictionary:

    Definition of author
    noun

    a writer of a book, article, or document.
    someone who writes books as a profession.
    the writings produced by a particular author.
    an originator of a plan or idea.

    Authors are who we are, writing is what we do. However, as authors, we are also, writers.

    Speaking of such, I have an announcement. I was going to wait until I got back into the swing of blogging, but I'll share a secret with you. I had a short story published in Jan. by Sucker Literary Magazine, a YA publication. It was offered online only until this past week. It's now available in print through Lulu.com. I've ordered two copies, and they look amazing! I'll be posting the link in a week or so on my blog. Camp NaNo has been a wild ride. :) Miss chatting with you!

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