Monday, January 9, 2012

WRITER vs. AUTHOR by Dean Wesley Smith

Indie Publishing and the Author

— How an indie AUTHOR thinks:
When a person who is an Author at heart finishes their “master work” known as “their novel,” their attention turns at once to making sure all their work on “their novel” isn’t wasted.
Most of the time, even though “their novel” has been rewritten into a bland paste, they still fear it is not “good enough” and give the book to an “editor” who then makes it into even more white paste. And don’t forget all the copyediting because “their novel” must be perfect. (At this point the Author has so lost track of telling a story it’s sadly funny. “Their novel” is nothing more than pretty writing, made perfect in grammar and spelling. Story and voice and character means nothing. Only pretty writing done in what the Author thinks is a perfect manner.)
So now the Author has two choices. Send it to an agent, as is the myth, or indie publish it. Most Authors go the traditional route because of a thousand reasons, all silly, such as “My book will get more attention.”  Or, “I want the publicity team on my book because it’s special.”  Often these Authors will run into a new agent who will play into their need for perfection and have them rewrite “their novel” a number of times more, turning it from white paste to pure nothingness.
Or the Author can indie publish, but this brings on other issues such as silly needs for “editors” and “cover designers” to make sure “their book” doesn’t get hurt.
And then the big day when the book is published on Kindle. (Forget all the other places, right??? Only Kindle matters, or so the Author has heard…) Now the Author watches “their book’s” sales numbers every hour, getting discouraged when there are no sales in two hours.
And then the Author starts the promotion on Twitter and Facebook and so on and so on and so on. Promotion is now all the Author thinks about day and night, because after all this is their “master work” and “their novel” so it deserves their respect and time and promotion.
— How an indie WRITER thinks:
Story is done. Cool! Get a few friends to proof it while the Writer gets started writing the next story.
Proofing is done, Writer spends a little time learning how to do a cover and blurbs, gets the story up on all the sites, all the while working on the new project, annoyed that the last project is taking his time away from the next project.
Book is indie published quickly and Writer goes back to work on next project, finishing it and getting it proofed while he starts the next project.
And so on and so on.
Writers, besides announcing a book or publication on a web site, don’t do promotion like Authors do. They can’t, because their focus is on writing the next book and the next story. They don’t have time. Writing time is more valuable than promotion of an old book.
Writers tend to believe that their own writing is the best promotion.

A Better Distinction

So maybe a better way to define Author and Writer these indie publishing days is this:
— A Writer is a person who writes the next story.
— An Author is a person who spends their time promoting their last story.
Yet maybe yet another way of looking at these two diverse camps is this:
— A Writer gets feedback from the simple act of writing and finishing stories.
— An Author must get feedback from external sources such as reviews, sales, promotions, editors, workshops, and so on.
Full post can be find here:

1 comment:

  1. While I agree it's important to keep writing rather than focusing on only one piece, I have to say that I love my editors! I've written professionally for nearly 25 years. Most of that has been work for hire, but I've also self published and had work acquired by publishers. A good editor can make a strong piece even better. You just need to work with an editor who "gets" what you're doing as a writer and understands how to sharpen your work.