The difference is: When you’re a writer, people ask: “What have you written lately?” An author has no such time pressure. Having been published once, even a decade ago, is enough – this is a durable credential.
However, being a published author is not all garden parties and massive doses of self-esteem. Don’t expect the William Morris Agency to be making frantic calls to woo you. Maybe you should go to bookstores and rearrange their stock so that your book faces cover out instead of spine out, which no one looks at. Forge ahead with your book talks even if the only people who show up are the co-ordinator and your mother. Joking apart, I sold the largest quantity of my books after giving a talk or a reading at different venues, such as bookstores, local organizations, charity events, even after fashion parades. Once people have met you, the author, and heard a snippet of your writing, they almost feel obliged to come away with a copy of your book.
If your first book has been a major success, by which I mean it has garnered good reviews and impressive sales in the thousands, it is a temptation to make your second book a sequel, thinking that if people really enjoyed the first one, they are going to want to know what happened to these characters later. One example is Jojo Moyes “Me Before You” and its sequel |”After You.” I loved both of them. But my experience was different.
My first book (I’ve written 14) has been amazing. “The Pomegranate Pendant” had wonderful reviews, is still selling regularly after 20 years, has been made into a movie (“The Golden Pomegranate) and musicals in both USA and Australia, and won a major literary prize and still brings e-mails stating “This is my favourite book of all time”, yet when I wrote a sequel”Seeds of the Pomegranate” it has languished miserably for many years now.
Your second book will probably be even harder to sell than your first. Try for a different story, even a different genre. After that, your name will be recognisable as an author, and your friends’ query will be: “Are you working on a new novel? What is it about?”
(My latest novella “Searching for Sarah” is available by contacting me at email@example.com. I am always happy to hear your comments or help you with any writing queries.)