Author vs. Writer

I know some of you have been staying awake all night wondering about the difference between an author and writer.  Consider the following definitions:

A writer is a person who writes a book, article, or any literary piece, while an author is essentially the person who originates the idea, plot, or content of the work being written. At times, the author and writer can be the same person.

Often the distinction is between having a published work, which makes you an author, and writing, which makes you a writer. Just for the record, that would mean that as soon as you start writing, you become a writer. As soon as you publish, you become an author.

I prefer the later definition. So what is a published work?

A work is published when tangible copies of it are made available to the public at large.

This means writing from a newspaper or magazine article, fiction and non-fiction books, sections written as part of a book, editorials, and blogs.

You can be an author even if you are not widely read. Consider the following three examples.

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Check out this link to see America’s 100 Best Authors.

I hope this explanation will help you understand the difference between an author and a writer and help you get a good night’s sleep.

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About Allen Mesch

Allen is a author, educator, and historian. He has written four books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; and Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days". He teaches classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and shares his over 4,000 photographs on Civil-War-Journeys.org. He blogs about the Civil War on Salient Points.
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