Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Writers v authors

I'm wondering whether the distinction between an author and a writer in the book publishing context is the difference between a royalty and a fee. Are Lonely Planet authors really just writers now they no longer pay royalties?


BLC said...

Is it:
Author - published, and therefore has at least some credentials, read by others, has made money.
Writer - novice, personal, unpublished, unread by outsiders, not commercial - YET.

Perhaps, I'm a bit of a cynic??

Does the distinction lie in the nature of the maker? The agenda, the place from where they sit to perceive.?

Andrew's black dog blog said...

An interesting distinction you've made. I think I was sounding more disparaging of writers than I intended to. My distinction was:

Writer - craftsperson/professional, gun for hire, working to a brief, paid a fee, filling a specific need, published.

Author - artist, initiator, creator, royalty earner, optimist, writing for prosterity, reaching out to touch the hearts and minds of readers

So yes for me the distinction lies in the agenda and the place from where they sit to perceive but not necessarily in the nature of the maker.

Someone may be a writer in one context and an author in a another (e.g. Thomas of Do Travel Writers Go to Hell). Being a writer can be a great training for becoming an Author.