Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Library and the Writer

Last month I received my annual PLR cheque for books I have in public libraries and where borrowing activity has been detected. I don't get a lot of money for this as yet, but it is always welcomed as a surprise each February.  Thinking about this while making breakfast today I linked it in my mind to this Jeremy Greenfield piece on the debate over who is an author or writer, Why Self-Published Authors Should Call Themselves Anything They Want.   Some of the books in libraries, in fact all but one, were commissioned by local historical groups.

The legacy publishing and writing industry want to arrogate to themselves the rather high sounding title 'author'.  To them, only a writer who has been published by a legacy house has the right to be called an author. Everyone else is a mere writer. I thought that nonsense at the time as I quite happily call myself a writer because that's what I do.  Some of what I write is published for profit, some is not.  To call myself an author I somehow feel I would have to have one of those 1950s head shots for a back cover, and wear a tweed or corduroy jacket with tie and smoke a pipe, gazing off to stage left or right with a look of deep wisdom on my face.  The reality of course is me in my pyjamas [rarely without as I get rather cold now that I am older], hair shooting off at crazy angles and mug of coffee to hand.

But, to get back to the PLR payment.  Does the fact that I get a cheque each year from the Canadian government for books borrowed from libraries allow me into the guarded guild of authors?  Does that trump publication by a legacy publisher? I do have one book published that way, but the Canadian Authors' Association used to demand two such, though now I believe one legacy publication is enough. I noticed they have a section on self-publishing but do not seem to understand it well.  Well, it doesn't matter to me one way or the other as I will write and publish any way I can regardless of what some snot of an author might think.  And I cannot see why I would spend good money joining an elite club.  I like wearing my pjs too much.  Or nothing at all.  Maybe one day I will be included here in Bare it for Books

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