I am a professional author. That means I am an author by profession. I
am also a professional writer. That means I write all sorts of stuff,
and get paid for it. The difference between an amateur and a
professional is that a professional gets PAID.
Real published authors don’t think of themselves as "published
authors." Why? Simple. In order to be an author, you must be published.
There are no unpublished authors. Printing it up yourself, or paying to
have it printed, doesn’t
make you published… it makes you printed. AND
THAT IS OKAY.
There are some excellent books written by people who know
exactly what they are doing. Lisa Montell, star of weird movies such as SHE GODS OF SHARK RIEF, and featured on tons of WB shows such as Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip is a friend of mine — I’ve known her since the early 1970’s. Now known as Lisa Janti, she has self published an excellent non-fiction treatise on contemporary religious issues, BAHA’I: The New Vision.
Did it get any reviews or "blurbs?" Yes.
Firuz Kazemzadeh,Emeritus Professor of History,Yale University, wrote: “There are many ways to learn about the Bahá’í Faith. Lisa Janti provides a simple but excellent introduction to its teachings…A novice will learn a great deal and an advanced student will have his knowledge
refreshed by reading this book.
Lisa cross promotes her book at her public speaking events, and her speaking events promote the book. For Lisa, "self publishing" was an informed decision with no illusions of wealth and fame…she’s already had that, anyway. This book doesn’t make her a "professional author" nor does it make her a "published author." She wrote, created, designed and had the book printed herself. That doesn’t diminish the book’s quality, or her talent. A traditional publisher might not see any value in publishing this book for profit. Lisa didn’t do it for profit. It is a good book. For those interested in the topic, you can’t do much better.
I encourage all writers. If you want to pay to have your writings printed up, do it. But please, out of respect for people who do it for a living — people willing to handle rejection, deal wth the changes in the market, and the process of actually working as they can in a demanding profession — have the courtesy to not refer to yourself as anything that gives the false impression that you are a professional author. I am NOT a Certified Auto Mechanic, and it would be rude for me to call myself one just because I pay to have my car fixed, even though I like getting all greasy.