Today we have a special guest post from Josh Brown. If you missed his guest post last month, be sure to check that one out as well! Read on to get challenged to answer the question: are you a writer or an author?
Are You A Writer?
Writers. I know you’ve seen them. You totally know the type. They like to write stories and are constantly trolling freelance writing ads or Facebook “calls for submission” groups, desperately trying to find the next themed anthology or literary zine that will accept their short fiction. These writers, they write—no doubt about that—and occasionally they even get published. But it’s what happens after they get published that matters.
What do writers do after getting published? Nothing. They’re too busy, well, writing. They’re banging out the next short story that will at best earn them $0.03/word or a split of profits that are non-existent and will never exist. They might have a blog, but it’s filled with pictures of cat memes, and their Twitter feed is a ghost town. Writers write, but they don’t do much else, and that’s what holds them back from evolving into authors.
Authors, on the other hand, are forward-thinking. They don’t just care about writing the best story possible, they care about what happens after the story is written. Once it is accepted. Once it is published out into the world. What then? Then, the real work begins.
In this day and age, being an author also means being an entrepreneur and a self-promoter. You need to write a great story, sell it, and then market/promote it. Those writers who are not putting forth every single effort to promote their published work are missing a step in this whole process. The easiest way to promote your published story is to announce it to all your friends and family on Facebook. Hopefully I don’t have to tell you that that is not enough. You need to get the word out on all social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. You need to engage with your fans, with the community at large. You need to have a blog where you can not only talk about your own work, but also the work of your peers, as well as other relevant topics that may interest your audience. You need to establish a brand, build a following. You need to write great stories.
I’m here to tell you that being a writer is different than being an author, and if you aspire to be successful in today’s publishing landscape, you need to be an author.
Don’t get sucked in to the writer trap. You deserve better; you owe it to yourself to follow through and to be an author.
Josh Brown is the writer and creator of “Shamrock,” a fantasy/adventure comic that appears regularly in Fantasy Scroll Mag. His comic work has appeared numerous places, including Alterna Tales from Alterna Comics and the award-winning Negative Burn. His poetry and short fiction can be found in Star*Line, Beechwood Review, Scifaikuest, SpeckLit, and a variety of anthologies such as Lovecraft After Dark (JWK Fiction), Dystopian Express (Hydra Publications), King of Ages: A King Arthur Anthology (Uffda Press), and many more. Recently, he served as guest editor for issue 20 of Eye to the Telescope, the official online journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA).