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Creative support for business writers, pre-published writers and for writers-in-a-rut.

Are you author or writer?

Author? Writer? Which would the pre-published person be? Is JK Rowling an author or a writer? Why is a ghost-writer not an author? People think that the words mean one and the same. After all, if you are writing, you can be both?

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Not so. Consider this. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series put her in the top 10 of greatest authors according to Topten dot com. She is also one of the top earning authors in the world according to Forbes magazine. So why did she go on to write The Casual Vacancy under a pseudonym? Before it leaked out that the book was written by Rowling, it sold a measly 1 500 copies. Why bother? The reason why she wrote under a pseudonym is because Rowling is an author. She writes because she loves the art, because she has characters to develop and because she has stories to tell the world. That is her priority. That she earned fame and fortune along the way is incidental.

Ghost-writers and copywriters are not authors. They are producing someone else’s stories and ideas. They write to earn money. The art of writing does not make you an author.

There are a number of reasons why people are writers. Writers are paid irrespective how well the book does. It is the responsibility of the person paying the writer to publish the book once the book has been completed. Being a writer is at times easier than being an author.

According to Difference Between dot net, a person is considered a writer until they are published. This means that even if the idea is your own and you have written the book, you still remain a writer. It does not matter how often you write and what you have written . The difference is that when you become published, your work will be copyrighted under the copyright laws. This ensures that nobody else can steal or use your idea. It is all yours.

To be an author, one must have the capability to think and express ideas. A writer must have the capability to understand and convey an idea correctly to the readers. Their skill is suited to the job required. Authors write because they have stories to tell, writers write because they want to earn money.

Now decide: which one are you?

  • http://www,sure2write,co,za Frederick

    Hallo Ulrike,
    You have a rich and varied website, and you are obviously adept at your profession. (enough praise :-))

    You wrote above: “The reason why she wrote under a pseudonym is because Rowling is an author. She writes because she loves the art, because she has characters to develop and because she has stories to tell the world. That is her priority.”

    I haven’t read The Casual Vacancy, however, here is a one sentence summary:
    The author’s first book for adults features drugs, sex and swearing – things that Harry Potter probably never dreamed of.

    Therein were also characters created and ‘developed’ and possibly, her using a pseudonym has nothing to do with differentiation between writing and ‘authoring’, but with keeping the Harry Potter followers uninformed of her (the author’s)even darker (than HP) side. An attempt to remain “virginal”?

    She may even have done it intentionally.
    1st the secret, then the revelation, then the surprise and the rush to purchase, which led to nearly 300,000 sales in the following week.
    She circumnavigated the shock of fans knowing what deep under currents she possessed and turned it into another triumph, sans explanations. Viva JK.

    Friendly regards,
    Fred Erasmus
    Sure2Write
    sure2write@sure2write.co.za
    http://www.sure2write.co.za/
    +2784 392 2219