Recently a couple of people I've known for a short time learnt that I am a 'published author'. Immediately I felt a glow about me as my reputation in their eyes went up a couple of notches.
The aura didn't last long. Unfortunately I knew the truth: that my newfound esteem was misplaced. My new friends had fallen for the Great Author Myth.
There's always been a strange glamour associated with being an author, particularly a published author, i.e. a writer who a so-called 'trade' publisher has recognised as being worthy. It's this glamour that gives a book its power to bestow immediate credibility on its creator – something that also applies to a well-prepared self-published book. It also generates, in the minds of many, the notion that publishing a book is a good way to make money.
Here lies the myth, on both counts.