The Myth of “Just an Author”

Can you be “just an author” these days, pecking away at a typewriter in a basement somewhere but otherwise completely eschewing publicity and remaining out of the public eye, Salinger- and Pynchon-style, writing in a bubble-like Platonic ideal of authordom?

I think a few authors can probably pull it off, particularly those who are already established. But it’s increasingly rare for authors breaking into the business…

We live in a networked time. The Internet is quickly organizing itself into tribes of far-flung, plugged-in, like-minded individuals and shaping how we learn about the stories we consume… The authors who engage their audience and inspire devoted clans of fans have a leg up over those who sit back and let the publisher take care of that whole promotional thing or who hope lightning will strike on its own.


Literary agent Nathan Bransford seems to echo what I’m reading all over: no more poet in a garret… Write and write well, but don’t neglect your platform.

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