• Mark Iles

The Big Question all Writers Ask

When Can I call Myself a Writer?

The Big Question I’m often asked is, ‘when can someone call themselves a writer’? The answer is simply anyone who writes is a writer by default, whether they’re published or not. When someone does get published they can then call themselves an author, and of course an author who writes full-length fiction often call themselves novelists. That’s of any genre, as long as it’s fiction.

Some consider calling yourself a novelist pretentious. It’s not. It’s a title referring to a

specific area of writing, a bit like being able to say you’re a Technical Author when you write books on machinery, or a Business Writer when you write for your industry.


Then of course there’s the ghost writer. What does he do? Nothing spooky, I assure you. This is the person who writes books for someone else to bring out in their name. The customer gives the writer a topic and wordage requirement, and then buys full copyright of what’s written. From then on the actual writer has no further claim on the material produced.

Ghost writers and their clients can make a good partnership and I’ve heard of one person who’s had a great many books self-published, none of which he’s written himself. And there’s the celebrity market. Let’s face it, do we really believe all celebrities write their own biographies? I’ve no doubt that some do but I’d imagine a considerable amount will hire ghost writers.


A Copywriter (not to be confused with Copy Right) is someone who writes copy - in other words they write advertising of one sort or another, these days primarily for the web. This includes adverts, blogs, email campaigns, rewrites (old material reworked), and so on.


Blog writers are sometimes confused with journalists, but in fact they’re a completely different kettle of fish. Anyone can write a blog, with little or no formal training, and they often refer to news sources. A journalist is bound by certain rules and regulations which govern what they can and can’t say, and report on subjects linked to expert sources and events.


I hope our readers found this blog informative and useful, the aim is to get a blog up every couple of weeks. So watch this space!

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