The internet is truly like an asylum at times. You can be whatever you want to be with a few strokes of the keyboard. Being as such, unless you do some research you really don’t know who is the real deal and who is just a wannabe. I have realized that there are a lot of people who like to embellish who they are. This is especially true of up and coming or wanna be authors/true crime groupies. I have never claimed to have expertise or embellished my qualifications. I am just a blogger. I write because I enjoy doing so, and if someone swings by my blog and leaves accolades for a well-written piece – then that’s okay, too. But I don’t run around pimping this blog or pretending to be someone I am not. There are, however, those who DO.
Recently, someone claiming to be a “published author” left some rather snarky comments here and questioned why I dared to write a piece on profiling without expertise in the area. Uhh, because I can? My blog has never claimed to be an expert on anything. I wrote an opinion piece and I provided factual commentary from the FBI regarding their definition of pseudoexperts. This person flashed her e-credentials like a badge of honor and thought that you, dear reader, would swoon at her glory! Not so. My issue regarding implied credibility and pseudoexperts is one that others share. Just because you write that you are a published author does not make it so. Being “published”, one assumes that the work is PUBLISHED by a real publisher or by academia. However, I and PUBLISHED authors are obviously mistaken in our judgment, as supposedly when you click “submit” at your wordpress blog or on your website…voila!! You are now a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!
I decided to seek out expert opinion regarding this controversy and I enlisted the assistance of Burl Barer. Burl received an Edgar Award for his book The Saint, and was praised by Pulitzer Prize nominee Jack Olsen for “writing true crime at its best.” His professional biography reads:
Burl Barer is a Edgar Award winning author and two-time Anthony Award nominee with extensive media, advertising, marketing, and public relations experience.
Garnering accolades for his creative contributions to radio, television, and print media, Barer’s career has been highlighted in The Hollywood Reporter, London Sunday Telegraph, New York Times, USA Today, Variety, Broadcasting, Electronic Media, ABC’s Good Morning America, Investigation Discovery’s “Deadly Women,” and “Snapped” on the Oxygen Network. He also hosts TRUE CRIMES on OUTLAW RADIO with famed attorney Don Woldman.
Burl is credentialed and quite capable of giving a professional opinion on what a “published author” is. He, as well as others, have worked very hard to hone their craft and to imply that posting your work on a blog somehow credentials you as a published author is very unfair to him and other authors. Here is what he had to say about this type of “published” work.
…professional writers don’t refer to themselves as “published authors” — what other kind is there? Pre-published? WTF is THAT? That is a fancy way of saying “i have not been paid, and no one is buying…yet”
Creative writing is a lot like sex. You spend more time thinking about it than doing it, and rejection is the standard response to your attempts to penetrate the market. Now, here is an easy analogy. If you have sex with 47 itinerant farm workers in one afternoon — just for the fun of it — you may be termed “daring,” “adventurous” or “slut” but you have no right to call yourself a whore unless you are paid. If you are paid AND it is filmed or video taped, you are no longer a whore, you are now an adult film actress. If this video becomes a bit hit, you are now a Porn Star. If there was no film in the camera, and no video tape in the machine, and you only were paid cab fare to the warehouse where th 47 farm workers were awaiting you, you will most likely justify the effort expended by terming yourself a pre-released adult entertainer fresh from a extensive series of auditions for a variety of positions in the industry.
People give themselves titles that boost their self-image, and select the appellations they hope are self-fulfilling prophecies.
In closing, when Truman Capote was asked what he thought of Harold Robbins‘ writing, he responded, “Harold Robbins doesn’t write, he types.” Maybe that’s the term for the unpaid bloggers with higher aspirations…Published Typist.
So, there ya’ have it. I’m going to hit submit now.
Prinnie the “Published Typist”
PS: Go buy some of Burl’s books.by