What is an Author, Exactly?

This article was written by a person who believes that only authors who have published with a professional/vanity press should be worthy of the title: http://goodereader.com/blog/commentary/self-publishers-should-not-be-called-authors

I will admit, Michael Kowzlowski has a point when he says that there is a difference between a singer and a professional singer. One makes money from his/her talent while the other doesn’t. That’s a good enough argument. Also, I’ve taken a graduate class entitled “Digital Publishing” and was confused when I saw that it was just as much about blog writing as it was about e-book publishing.

Indeed, the difference between a published author and an amateur fanfiction writer is roughly equal to the difference between a wine conneseur and a wino. But really, must we be so elitist when it comes to the term “author?” The ideal definition being suggested in this article is someone who has sold a certain amount of books from a “big” press. An author, to me, is one who takes his/her craft seriously and goes through a painstaking process to get their work out to the world no matter which format they do it with. To deny a title like that to someone who self-publishes, even if he/she edits and re-edits and hires an honest-to-god editer, would certainly be unfair.

This doesn’t bare repeating, but let’s face it, it does: Most authors start out small and unnoticed. A long time ago, when I used to play on Neopets (God I feel old), people on the message board would complain about newbies as if they never started out as one. Chances are, those professional authors started out at their college or town newspaper. Heck, some of them probably don’t even have writing degrees, but I supposed I should digress before I start sounding elitist myself. Some of these publishers, like internet entertainers on YouTube, get noticed by executives and receive fame off the internet as well.

Most of all, indie publishers are basically indie businesses, which I support wholeheartedly. Every summer, I go to my local farmers’ market to meet the growers of veggies and the makers of sweets themselves and to taste food that has been grown/made within 200 miles of where I live. This doesn’t mean that I don’t still go to the supermarket to get other food since bananas and avocados don’t grow around where I live. However, it is nice to know that there are other choices that are close by. The internet is not just a marketplace of ideas (and a marketplace of nonsense to boot) but also a marketplace in general. Even if it is true that anyone can upload a manuscript to Amazon these days, they will still get feedback from others and re-upload a revised edition. Hell, you can do that with indie publishers as well.