A Case of Blatant Pretentiousness? Sadly Yes.


Pretentious adj. attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.


Why do some people insist on adding the word author to their name on Social Media sites like Facebook? For the greater majority of these people, if you Google them, or type their names on Amazon or any other book site, you will find that very few have actually published anything!

Maybe it helps to boost their flagging ego somehow. Perhaps they delude themselves in believing that it will impress their friends, or somehow elevate their place in society. Sorry people, all it does is confirm the suspicions of everyone who knows you personally, that you are nothing more than just another poser.

So, posers please take note – the only time the word author comes into play, is when a writer is referred to as the author of a specific book. You do not author a book, you write one!

Genuine published writers do not adopt such nonsensicle tactics. You will find that most of us just use our given names. Attributing the epithet author, or even novelist, is for others to use when referring to a writer, not for you or I to assume as some kind of title.

Despite the fact that with a few judicious inquiries, the lie these people are living will be easily exposed, they still persist in referring to themselves as Author Joe Bloggs ,or Joe Bloggs, author. Why? What’s the point? Who do they think they are kidding?

When challenged, not only by me, but by others over recent years, a few of my FB aquaintances said that when they were first creating a profile on Facebook, when it came to filling in the various fields, without thinking they inserted ‘author’ instead of leaving that part of their profile blank, at the time seeing nothing wrong with using the word, being totally unaware of the subtle difference between both words, even though they refer to the same thing. None of my published writer friends, nor myself, have adopted either word as an epithet. Funny thing that, we don’t need to. Our work speaks for us…

Think about it? Does Wilbur Smith, J.K Rowling, Dan Brown or any other writer you care to name refer to themselves as ‘author’? No of course not!

So, if anyone reading this associates the word author in any way, shape or form with their name, believing that it is somehow prestigious, or perhaps means that they are a cut above hard working genuine published writers, think on!


9 thoughts on “A Case of Blatant Pretentiousness? Sadly Yes.

  1. You have a point. BUT I can also imagine putting “author,” “artist,” or “editor” into Facebook or Twitter as a matter of publicity since doing so has the potential of boosting your search engine “status” and thereby lifting you in those listings. That could translate into more work. So for some it might be more a matter of pragmatism rather than pretentiousness, at least in some cases. However for many… well, you’re on the mark.


  2. Yes, sometimes it seems everyone is an “author.” I could have retired long ago had I been paid to listen to the optimistic tell me how they had a book in them and one day they’d sit down and write it. Of course they never do.


  3. I appreciate what you are saying Jack, but must admit to using the words “Meet Guest Author” and “my friend and author” when posting and reblogging.
    It’s my way of recognising that they are writers who have published their books.


  4. When I set up my FB page, it was just general. Then, I had several friends who suggested I have a ‘professional’ page to promote my first book. So, I guess I would be guilty of using “author’ to separate that page from my social page. I suppose I could have used the word ‘writer’ just as easily. Or ‘professional’. I can see your point if you have not published, why use it. But I think I’m confused on whether you think those who have published should use that title. Either way, it was a good read as always. πŸ™‚


    • Robynn, no writer should ever use the word when referring to themselves. The only time the word author comes into play, is when a writer is referred to as the author of a specific book by others. πŸ™‚


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