This post, by Jim Edwards, originally appeared on Dvorah Lansky‘s Book Marketing Made Easy.
For some authors this is a real concern. They write books to gain credibility and readership as much or more than they do to make money. Being perceived by others as a “real” author is very important to them, and for good reason. However, the world of “books” has changed dramatically in the last decade. What made you a “real” author just a few short years ago may not represent what can actually make you a legitimate author today.
What is a book?
A book is a unique publication with a beginning, middle and end aimed at a specific target audience. Length can range anywhere from a few dozen pages to over a thousand. Readers can enjoy real books either in physical (print) format, or in electronic format on any of the hundreds-of-millions of ebook readers, iPads, and computers in the world. Real authors publish their work as ebooks and don’t even think twice about it.
What counts as a “published” author?
In the “old” days, a published author had a traditional publishing house and everything that went along with that (including tying up your rights for eternity, doing all your own marketing, and earning a pittance on each sale). NOW, a published author is someone who has their book for sale where people can find it and buy it (online or offline).
Amazon Changed The Game
I got my first taste that the world of publishing had changed in the late 1990’s when I was still selling real estate. I’d written and self-published a book about how to sell your house yourself, and was using it to help build my business. A home seller in the area told me “Selling Your Home Alone” wasn’t a real book, not because I didn’t have a publisher, but because she couldn’t find it for sale on Amazon!