Are You a WRITER or an AUTHOR?



Are you an author or a writer—or both? What’s the difference between a writer and an author? I blog it down to this: writers are people who write stories, authors are people who publish books.

 Is an author a writer? Sure. But is a writer an  author? Maybe.

 There probably hundreds of thousands of writers in these United States, but not so many authors. The ratio might be somewhere like 1,000:1 writers to authors.

 Bob’s Warrior Writer program teaches simpletons like you and me how to go from being a writer to being an author—and it’s not as simple as getting a book published.  Bob has found a glaring gap in the business of writing (you know, the business? When you stop writing for fun and have to write for money?)  He’s done a gap analysis and determined that many individuals who get into the business of writing have no clue how to make that transition from writer to author. 

 I think Bob is on to something, and has been for a long time.  After hearing him speak many times, and listening to his audio CDs (get these, even if you can’t attend the workshop. They are perfect for driving to work. I’ve listened to them many, many times and get new stuff with every new listen.) it is clear to me that my expectations of the whole industry was somewhat skewed.  Bob laid it on the line and told us, just getting a book published it not enough. Hell, it’s barely the beginning! 

 Now, you need to understand something: Bob is a “best-selling” author, but he clearly states that he is a midlist author, and has been for a long time.  Think about that for a minute. 

 <Checks my nails, plays solitaire on computer, sends a few emails>

 Okay. Did you think about it? Your first thought might be, “Why in the HELL would I want to waste my time bothering with whatever a midlist author has to say?”  Yeah, I can see where you’re coming from—but you’re looking at it the wrong way.  

 Bob Mayer has been a midlist author for over 20 years.  What does that mean? (Well, besides Bob needing to get his butt out there and have a breakout novel! Area 51 was so 1990’s!) It means that Bob has bucked the trend. He has fought to stay relevant when the business says he should have folded up and left the table a long time ago.  It means that, when the business of publishing says—“Have a best-seller every couple of years, or we’re going to drop you like a crack habit.” –Bob said, “Suck it, publishing industry.”  And he kept going, and going, and going. 

 If you don’t know much about the publishing industry, you might not think what he’s done is that big a deal.  Let me tell you, it is a monumental deal. It means Bob has stuck to it. He’s worked his ass off to keep his product, “Bob Mayer” (…and Robert Doherty, and Greg Donegan) out there in the public eye. 

 See it’s different if you’re someone like Nora Roberts who gets co-op money out the wazoo, has her publishing company spend tons on advertising, and has all her books made into Lifetime movies…Bob doesn’t have any of that. (Unfair, says you. It’s business, says me.) Instead, he keeps on plugging, and through his years in the literal publishing trenches, he has much to teach and give to others. Instead of holing up in his palatial estate on some mysterious island, banging out novel after novel, Bob is sharing what he has learned, and it’s worth the price of admission many times over.

 Why am I going on about Bob? Because what he’s got, you (if you’re trying to get  a book published, or have a book published, but don’t have any clue about what you’re doing) need.

 So when he offers you his hand and wink, and tells you he can help you move from writer to author, you can believe him. I am living proof.  I am a writer—not an author—but when I take that first tentative step into the waters of the publishing business, I have tools that will help me along the way.  I also view Bob as a mentor. Take his Warrior Writer workshop and you meet someone who will help you out even after he’s given you your lunch kit, scarf, and backpack,  on your way out into the big scary world.  I’ve emailed Bob many times with questions and concerns, and he’s always been timely and very helpful.  No, he’s not going to placate you, he’s going to challenge you, tell you the truth (no matter how bad it is) and keep you on the straight and narrow.

 When I do get my first book published, I will be knocking on his door, asking for more advice. You can bet on that.  If you’re a writer who’s got a book published and floundering about, you need to take his course. If you’re a writer with a book you think is ready to send out, take it.  You need help, and he’s got what you need.

Thanks, Bob.



Jason Myers writes all types of fiction, from epic fantasy, and mainstream thrillers, to new adult stories.  You can find all his incredible musings and deliriums here.  He is a Warrior Writer attendee and loves Bob Mayer. (In a brotherly sort of way—fools!)


1 ping

  1. What? No comments? Come on, people!!!

    • Anasazi Stories by Jeff Posey on December 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm
    • Reply

    As a writer, but not yet an author, I appreciate that you made the distinction. A writer can hide. An author can’t (at least not a new author). A writer doesn’t make any money from their books, so they don’t have to deal with the business side. Authors do. Writers who want to be authors but aren’t willing to learn about the business side, from marketing to publishing contracts, will most likely never be authors. You and Bob help wannabe authors like me understand that. Thanks, Jason.

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