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  1. #1
    Elle C.

    Define "published writer" ??

    Okay people, let's start a new topic, shall we?

    Someone in a previous thread said that WN is for wannabe writers who never will be published. Harsh words, and most certainly untrue.

    I'm curious as to what other folks on WN consider a "published writer" to be. When I first joined, I checked the "no" box for published writer, because I thought it specifically meant having a book published with a major publishing house, going through an agent. Now I'm wondering, based on some of the posts I see around WN, if that's not the case, and my definition is too narrow.

    I had several books published while I was on-staff at a NYC publishing house (there was no query/agent process, though...I wrote them because it was part of the job). A couple are still available on Amazon, but they're not exactly thrilling page-turners. I don't count those because I wasn't paid any extra for them above and beyond my salary, and I certainly don't get any royalties from them (strictly work-for-hire). I've had a couple hundred articles published in national consumer magazines over the last 17 years, and I was paid for all of those...but those are just articles; here today, gone next month. Books have more permanence, in my estimation, and to be accepted by an agent and have a publishing house bid on your project is my criteria for truly "making it" as a writer.

    How do YOU define "published writer?" If you have been published, be it on the web, in magazines, or as book authors, do tell!

  2. #2

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    I'd say you're a 'published writer'. Many people have no intention of writing a book and have only pub'd in magazines, etc. I'll bet they consider themselves both writers and published.

    The minute something you wrote is pub'd, you're a published writer (IMO). I'm sure everyone's personal goals are different--each setting the bar at the level they wish to achieve.

  3. #3
    Carol O

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    To me, being published is being able to walk into a random bookstore and see one's book/magazine on the shelf. (Admittedly, there are some perfectly respectable magazines that have limited distribution, but one gets my point, I hope.)

    For the growing e-market, I fall back on selectivity: having an objective, knowledgeable, third party consider one’s work worth investing money and/or resources.

  4. #4
    Frank Baron

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    Being paid for writing something and seeing it in print or online=published in my book.

  5. #5

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    If your work is accepted for publication by a newspaper, mag or book publisher, you are published. If you PAY someone to print your book, or photocopy your own stuff and pass it around, you are NOT.

  6. #6
    Happy Soybean

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    A magazine paid me $90 to publish my short short story. I consider myself a published writer.

    If you submit your work to a market (a magazine, newspaper, etc.) and the editors select and publish your work, consider yourself published. Being published does not always mean you are paid.

    You shouldn't call yourself a "published writer" if your work has only appeared in college publications, company publications, or self-publishing markets. Well, you can call yourself whatever you want, but you aren't considered a "published writer" until you submit your work to an objective market whose eidtors consider it among other submissions and choose to take it on.

    Example: My work once appeared in my college's rather selective literary magazine, but since this magazine only accepts submissions from students at the college, I don't consider that this makes me a "published writer." The national magazine that picked up my story from the hundreds of other submissions and decided to publish my story and send me check -- I consider that a real publishing credit.

  7. #7
    Alison Cunningham

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    Although I published throughAuthorhouse, I consider myself a published writer. I rec'd a pretty nice check for that novel, hence I consider myself an author. I think that anyone who writes, be it magazines, online, through agents and publishers, if they have rec'd a check for their efforts, then they are a published authors or writers. Am I wrong?

  8. #8
    Happy Soybean

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    Is Authorhouse a vanity press? If the market will take almost anything from anyone and publish it, then no, I wouldn't count it as a credit. Of course, you can consider yourself a published writer and call yourself a published writer. There's no "publishing credit" police. But I don't think it's a good idea to inform agents or traditional publishers/markets that you have a publishing credit, because in their eyes, you don't.

    If it was as easy as a check = being published, then I could just have my best friend pay me for stories and novels and bam! I'd have a much improved writing career.

  9. #9
    Andrew Spriggs

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    Well, 'publish' must include everything, be it self-"published", vanity and subsidy, and traditional. Because I include self-published authors as published, then I feel kind of guilty not including vanity/subsidy published.

    HOWEVER, on my meaner days, I rationally only consider what an agent would consider as 'published' to be published. It is always safer to go by the industry standards--then, you'll seem much more intelligent in a conversation about that industry.

  10. #10
    Sharon Brady

    Re: Define "published writer" ??

    To me "published" means a writer is paid for their work.

    Anyone can self-publish. Anyone can use a vanity press. Am I right in this?

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