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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Author" or "Writer?"  I wish to give a vague idea of who I am without being off putting.  To me, an author writes books, while a writer writes whatever comes down the pike.  Either one is good enough, but what do people actually think when they see one or the other?

Do any of you have a rule for when you use one or the other?  Does social media have a stigma in any regard for what you tell them you are?  On your personal websites, do you use one or the other? 

Do you use "author" only if you are published, or are WIP acceptable?

 

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I like to make the joke when someone asks me, "So wait, you're an author?" "Nah, more like a, I don't know, word-man."  But that's mostly because I avoid being taken seriously like the plague, and I just like that it's a terrible use of words.

Writer sounds less snooty to me, but I see a lot more people use author in their bios and websites.  And, it makes sense.  Author does seem a lot more descriptive.  People will see that and know exactly what an author does, and then writer can be a lot of things.  I think I like writer better, but I completely understand why most people use author.  Maybe it's a logic vs feels argument.
 

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IMO, it's not about snooty or not (neither sounds snooty to me). It's a matter of specificity. A writer could write tech manuals or blogs or speeches. An author gives more of an impression of writing books of some kind, or maybe short stories. "Novelist" is even more specific if what you write is novels. Seems to me that anyone who'd think of any of those words as snooty probably isn't a reader, so I'm probably unlikely to care what they think.
 

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To me, an author writes books and  -- this may be old-school -- has published at least one book. I call myself a writer because I make a living from multiple forms of writing, from books to magazine articles to ad copy to songs. I could say I am an author and a writer, but I don't.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all your replies! Never thought I'd have to ask that ever, but something came up.

Again, thank you!
 

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Not sure I'd use "snooty" in any case. To me, and if you add a dollar to it it's worth a coffee, author seems more serious than writer. That's not meant to denigrate writers in any way, just what the two words seem, to me.
 

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Neither is snootier. Author to me is somebody who writes stories for books. If it is nonfiction, it is still books. "He is the author of ...".

Writer on the other hand can be many things - writer of short stories on whatpad, social media postings, manuals, documentation, tv shows, podcast scripts ... So for me the combining element is books.
 
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