Authorial Pivot

Day 257 Week 37 Q3 Friday, September 15, 2023

Almost everyone writes, but few are authors. The difference is being published. Unpublished writers can not be compensated. We can write for ourselves, but authors presumably write for audiences. Therefore, when a writer gets published, they can go through an authorial pivot, leading to becoming a professional instead of a hobbyist. Many people play musical instruments, but few are paid to do so. There is a major difference between a hobbyist and a professional in this regard as well.

One shorthand way to describe the difference I refer to as a Body of Work. The authorial pivot is on the critical path to publishing a Body of Work, which is distributed often on the critical path to being a keynote speaker.  Many celebrities pay others to write books for them and also pay glamour publishers to print for them. Paying to play does not seem on any professional path to me. It does not sound authorial, either.

To get feedback on one’s Body of Work, it must be accessible and out in the world, also called published.  No, I do not mean on Facebook or Social Media; I mean on a real website with a real audience, real aesthetics and a real price. All of these, taken together, can be called a platform. Professionals need Platforms. 

The authorial pivot includes a platform without which you are still not yet stepping up to the plate. Once you are published, there is a digital identity that can be reinforced by other connecting strategic digital real estate.

The entry into a new field can vary substantially from field to field and market to market and depends on the business model. This presumes there is a business model. Amateurs do not have sustainable business models, but professionals do. This is another part of the authorial pivot.

And how much is a book worth? It depends on the type. Fiction is worth less than nonfiction.  One would think that reality is worth more than fantasy, but this may not be true, considering most of the world is trying to escape most of the time.  Unknown individuals’ memoirs are pretty much worthless, as far as I can tell. 

So is celebrity drivel, at least to me. Facts that are not emotionally relevant also do not have much of an interesting market.  This leaves books that are attempting to accomplish something. 

Can a book accomplish something? Can this be intentional, or does it have to be accidental? Well, are you an author or not? There is an elevated intentionality to authorship.

The authorial pivot, while seemingly simple on its own, appears to be part of a potentially cascading set of platform-enabling actions that can lead toward professional compensation.  And then there are the follow-up volumes to drive home further that this is an author coming out to play.