Author! Author!
December 28, 2004 1:34 PM   Subscribe

After reading this fascinating thread, I'm curious: How many published authors are among our number? I'd love to see who's here and what kinds of books you've written.
posted by Vidiot to Writing & Language (46 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You already know this one, but I edited Hatchet Jobs and Hardball: The Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang. FYI, Dictionaries don't have authors, they have editors, which I constantly find myself having to explain to people who think I just pasted my name on someone else's work.

(A problem with contributions in this thread will be people who don't want their real names connected with their Metafilter pseudonyms. Maybe they could send them to you, Vidiot, if they trust you enough.)
posted by Mo Nickels at 1:44 PM on December 28, 2004

yeah, I figured not everyone wants their real name on MeFi. (I certainly don't.) I ask more out of genuine interest and curiosity than anything else; if you e-mail me, I'll keep it confidential.
posted by Vidiot at 1:48 PM on December 28, 2004

I compiled and co-edited Revolting Librarians Redux about radical librarian culture. No, seriously.
posted by jessamyn at 2:05 PM on December 28, 2004

I'm an editorial writer, so I'm published pretty much daily.

But the book will have to wait a year or two.
posted by u.n. owen at 2:38 PM on December 28, 2004

I'm working on a book proposal solicited by a publishing company, but it's going to take a while.
posted by inksyndicate at 3:15 PM on December 28, 2004

I had an essay published in a book on feminist politics in about 1996. Also various journalism and reviews in local papers and small magazines, but nothing lately.
posted by matildaben at 3:49 PM on December 28, 2004

I've written 20 or so published computer books. It used to be profitable, now not so much.

(If you care for details there's a link in my profile)
posted by mmoncur at 4:01 PM on December 28, 2004

I wrote Taking Aim: Target Populations and the Wars on AIDS and Drugs as well as multiple book chapters for edited volumes and articles for academic and professional journals.

New author story: When my book came out my proud parents pounced on it and bought several copies from Amazon to give to relatives. They were the only purchasers for a while, so clicking on the "people who bought this, bought the following" link demonstrated an uncanny correlation between my somewhat dry policy text and whatever the hell had been in their shopping cart recently. This included a set of Star Wars bedsheets.
posted by donovan at 4:02 PM on December 28, 2004

I've written three books that were published.

Link goes to the best selling one.
posted by zymurgy at 4:03 PM on December 28, 2004

I wrote Plateau Indians and the Quest for Spiritual Power, 1700–1850. Twenty or so people are deeply impressed.
posted by LarryC at 4:06 PM on December 28, 2004

Some of my stuff is going to be in an upcoming (it's been upcoming for a long time, but the publisher assures me it's still happening) anthology called 'Best of Web Writing'. I implore you all to buy several hundred copies each.

My dream since I was a pup, as with probably 90% of the people in this word-loving place of ours, has been to be able to make a very simple living with my writing. Of course, that'd require me actually trying to sell my stuff, though, which I can't bring myself to do. My neighbour is an American expat who is having some small success selling his outdoors/fishing pieces to Korean and overseas papers and mags, and he spends perhaps 80% of his authorial time trying to sell his work, and maybe 20% actually doing the writing. I can't see myself doing that. So my only real publication so far will be as a result of someone coming to me to ask for permission. Ah well.

I am working on a website that will basically be a showcase for a book proposal about Korea, though. So we'll see what happens with that and if the anthology makes any kind of splash at all.

But you're right, that was a fascinating thread.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:12 PM on December 28, 2004

(I should note that the publisher chose many of the writers for the anthology from suggestions in an AskMe thread posted here last year. Thanks to those who mentioned me there.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:16 PM on December 28, 2004

I'm a published author, but never in book form. In the 80s I was a newspaper reporter and columnist. In the early 90s I freelanced for a computer journal publisher and a business newspaper. In the late 90s I wrote daily columns on baseball and travel for an Internet publisher. And I have one question for the book authors:

How do you deal with that great lag between writing and publishing?
posted by ?! at 4:41 PM on December 28, 2004

I wrote a book on Web animation ("The Web Motion Encyclopedia") back in '95, '96. It was a pain having to revise the book at one point to change every mention of "FutureSplash Animator" to "Flash." The book was unfortunately never published, but it was completed, and I was mostly paid for it.
posted by kindall at 4:43 PM on December 28, 2004

Are you counting academics? Finally got a chapter published a couple of months ago, in a book so specialised it's not even on amazon, and have another chapter on the way in a book with a UK publisher. Plus a few papers in the journals, which doesn't count for anything (except keeping me in work of course).
posted by biffa at 5:11 PM on December 28, 2004

3 books for Lego geeks
posted by magullo at 5:28 PM on December 28, 2004

I wrote a novel called The Grasshopper King. I published it with a medium-sized small press, a route I would recommend to any writer, or at least any writer who a) would like their publisher to care about their book, and b) who is not in immediate need of fame or lots of money.
posted by escabeche at 5:36 PM on December 28, 2004

escabeche: That looks like a wonderful novel. I look forward to picking it up. And welcome to MeFi.
posted by ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. at 5:45 PM on December 28, 2004

Magullo: enough with the tease, do tell!
posted by donovan at 6:18 PM on December 28, 2004

Articles in scientific papers don't count, right?

/wonders how many mefiers of the scientific persuasion there are
posted by PurplePorpoise at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2004

I have been writing a weekly, area-specific column for a local newspaper, plus an occasional feature story, for almost 20 years.
posted by Lynsey at 7:51 PM on December 28, 2004

About 80 scientific articles, 19 patents, 3 book chapters, and a textbook.
posted by Wet Spot at 8:00 PM on December 28, 2004

Doesn't the wet spot short out those circuits? /ha ha ha

I wrote the update for a then-quite reputable book called Life With UNIX when the original authors had better things to do. Then was the lead author (well, it was my idea and connections that got us the deal) of a threesome that did CA-Visual Objects Developers Guide. Everyone who knows what CA-Visual Objects is please raiee your hand. Okay, that makes one of you. LOL Also about 60 computer software magazine articles.

I'm seriously considering Tony P's idea of doing a Cafe Press book (sorry can't remember his MeFi handle but he's non-secretive on the ID anyway), which sounds useful and almost cool.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:11 PM on December 28, 2004

I pay my bills by writing for a website owned by a very very large media company, but I'm guessing that's not what you were looking for.
posted by drezdn at 8:20 PM on December 28, 2004

I get about 20 articles published in newspapers each month. Well, one specific newspaper lately, several other newspapers in the past. I've been in a magazine or two, too.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:37 PM on December 28, 2004

Well, if we're going to count writing for periodicals, I've been a working journalist off and on for 16 years, the latest here.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:01 PM on December 28, 2004

Several years ago, after being laid off from a job shovelling garbage into a grinder at a plastics recycling plant and deciding I didn't want to ever do something like that again, I thought I'd try to do a kids' book - write and illustrate - because I always thought that would be cool. (And I thought that being a kids' book author might make me adorable to females.)

Sent it out cold in a manila envelope, managed to find a publisher (after being passed on from the big name kids' book publisher that had seemed interested for a few months), was distributed in both Canada and the States, big print run - said the publisher - for a Canadian kids' book.

I felt embarrassed signing copies for friends of my parents. Was kind of a flawed attempt. But at least I was published.

My dad was so happy a year later when he found a bunch of them on the remainder tables. Bought an armful. The man likes a deal. I haven't been able to since manage enough enthusiasm to try again.
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:08 PM on December 28, 2004

I wrote a book called Mother Shock (Seal Press, 2003). I have two more books coming out with Seal, one in Fall 2005 and one in Spring 2006. I have some pieces forthcoming in a few anthologies, and I've written for magazines like "Parents" and "Nick Jr" as well as places like The Christian Science Monitor. I'm also managing editor of Literary Mama, an online literary magazine featuring fiction, nonfiction, commentary, poetry, book reviews, author profiles, and more, all by women writers who also happen to be mothers (one of my pieces is here). I have a novel that is currently making the rounds, and a bunch of stuff "in progress" (translation: moldering in my "In Progress" folder on my laptop).
posted by mothershock at 9:27 PM on December 28, 2004

I am the humor columnist for the Daily Pennsylvanian, student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania.
posted by moooshy at 9:34 PM on December 28, 2004

escabeche -- your novel looks fascinating. And what an awesome PW review! Kudos!
posted by mothershock at 9:40 PM on December 28, 2004

I've written two fairly specialized academic books and co-edited another slightly more general interest one. Many journal articles and book chapters. I have also published some poetry.
posted by Rumple at 9:42 PM on December 28, 2004

PS, LarryC, make that 21
posted by Rumple at 9:52 PM on December 28, 2004

Mo Nickles, how could you not have used Christianophobia in one of our many religious threads? I love this new word!
posted by billsaysthis at 10:11 PM on December 28, 2004

I'm a columnist with the local paper. As a lark, I published one of my travel diaries with iUniverse a few years ago; I thought seeing the trip report at Amazon would be a great vacation souvenir (and iU was much cheaper then). I don't think that makes me an author, but the royalty checks are nice all the same...
posted by Liffey at 10:35 PM on December 28, 2004

I used to write regularly for a variety of music publications, and did technical editing for a computer book, but I hit the burnout stage at one point and stopped writing professionally. I've thought a few times about getting back into it, but as Stavros said, "Of course, that'd require me actually trying to sell my stuff, though, which I can't bring myself to do."
posted by litlnemo at 11:13 PM on December 28, 2004

It says as much in my MeFi profile, but I'll repeat it here: I've written movie, music and game reviews for JIVE Magazine (always online, in-print quarterly). Occasionally, I'll do a feature, an opinion column or an interview. The highlight so far? Meeting and interviewing Neil Gaiman.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:36 AM on December 29, 2004

I wrote several articles for Advertising Age around ten years ago (You can find them if you do a Dow Jones search!) and I wrote business features for the local paper for a time.

My mom's been published in a few educational journals.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:15 AM on December 29, 2004

I coauthored (as did mathowie) Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself a couple of years back.
posted by werty at 8:04 AM on December 29, 2004

I wrote a book on web design that is well known in some circles.

My wife, who doesn't post here anymore, wrote what many consider the definitive book on weblogs.

Also, mathowie has another book to his credit.

How do you deal with that great lag between writing and publishing?

Writing a book is a totally different ballgame from writing for periodicals. No amount of short-form writing can prepare you for the challenge of making your ideas work at length. The lag between writing and publishing does not weigh nearly as heavily as the fact that you can't amend or elaborate on what you've written.
posted by jjg at 10:07 AM on December 29, 2004

At the age of sixteen, a few years back, I wrote a few interviews for the local newspaper over the span of a year and a half. Currently working on my first novel.
posted by GirlFriday at 11:15 AM on December 29, 2004

Seventeen years as a newspaper reporter. Newspaper, magazine articles aplenty. No books yet.
posted by sacre_bleu at 12:27 PM on December 29, 2004

I wrote an article for a niche crafts magazine, which folded before the article could be published. Figures.
posted by icetaco at 12:41 PM on December 29, 2004

i have been a paid contributing writer at Bike magazine since, like, 1998... it's a magazine about mountain bikes... bicycles that is. however, my section, local knowledge, was recently axed.
posted by RockyChrysler at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2004

Proud Wired Jargon Watch contributor, circa 1996. Entry:Nyetscape, for AOL's crappy circa 1996 web browser. And in the Steve Jobs cover story issue to boot!

Um, yes, that is all.
posted by Scoo at 1:51 PM on December 29, 2004

I co-wrote The Complete Cartooning Course, and I'm currently co-writing (and designing) the Essential Guide to World Comics, which will be out in October 2005 or thereabouts. I've also written for The Comics Journal and other magazines about comics and graphic design.
posted by ninthart at 5:25 AM on December 30, 2004

As a professional comedy writer, I've had stuff collected in published anthologies of the TV show I used to write for and the weekly humor periodical I sometimes contribute to. But the first book to come out under my name (along with a co-author) won't be coming out until next fall--we just sold it last month.
posted by yankeefog at 8:34 AM on December 30, 2004

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