Recently, I read Michael Kozlowski's post entitled, "Self-Publishers Should Not be Called Authors". I could literally write a book on this man's biased, inconsistent, and woefully ignorant view, but I'm not (especially since it would be self-pubbed). For today, I'm just going to respond to his base argument.
Despite the vitriolic ranting against indies, he urges for classification between authors (those who make a living off of publication) and mere writers (the majority of us). He claims the distinction a necessity, though never elaborating to satisfaction. Perhaps it just irks him that "indie hacks" of which "90% should be used as bio-fuel" (he says in the comments) would dare label themselves with any sort of legitimacy. But let's suppose there is a huge, burning need.
Money, most people would agree, does not make an author. I would grant him "professional full-time author" as an acceptable variance but not plain "author". Not even the dictionary OR the United States government define being an author based on money. If that were the difference, the world would only have a few thousand.
But let's look at government officials, those little number-lovers of the IRS. They judge what you are by intent. Does someone submit, buy books on craft, attend conferences, keep records? If yes, they're an/a author/writer. It's simple, and you know how complicated things can get with Uncle Sam.
The dictionary is even more lenient with the requirements for authors. In fact, the words "writer" and "author" have identical meanings in most dictionaries. So, what's the big deal?
I think it's simple. Mr. Kozlowski is, in arrogance, calling for division to place one group of writers over another. He calls for a system of monetary checks, yet does not readily call a person who is traditionally published who cannot live off his/her earnings a mere "writer". This, I believe, is just another person who smirks at self-published authors and tries to thinly veil his snarky views in layers of supposedly rational, unprejudiced thinking. Don't agree? Just look at the article's title.
To sum up: Production and intent are the main requirements for authors/writers and there isn't a need to add to either word's definition. Class dismissed.
What do you think about the article? Was he just a troll rolling out bait or another sad hater? Is there a difference like he claims?