A Weird Dislike

It’s very weird and pointless, I know, but I have an aversion to the phrase multi-published.

I understand what it means. It means you sold more than one story, or one book, and had it published. It’s usually used to describe writers who are making a living from their work, but not always.

But why does it matter? If it does matter, why don’t we say double-published and triple-published and on and on?

And does it count if you sell, say, one novel and one nonfiction essay? How about two short stories? Two pieces of flash fiction?

I just don’t think it tells you anything, really. And it sounds like you’re trying too hard to be accepted. “I’m not just any writer. I’ve been published multiple times.”

Isn’t published enough? Or professional writer? Or even just writer?

Am I missing some subtlety here?

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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9 Responses to A Weird Dislike

  1. Sela Carsen says:

    Alas, poor Harper Lee. She may have written an American classic, but ha! I'm MULTIpublished! *snort* Yeah. That makes me feel worthy.

  2. Rowan says:

    I agree it's a silly term. But! …I think a lot of writers often think that first publication deal was a "fluke". Once you have that second, third…twelfth? contract, that's when you sit back and realize it's not just luck. Maybe you…deserved it. Maybe you have talent!
    At some point, the numbers will be enough to convince any skeptical author that being published can no longer just be luck.
    So, "multipublished" to me suggests the author is/has worked/working through the idea that first contract wasn't a fluke. They're validating themselves to themselves, and/or others.

    That said, I still think it looks silly. ;)

  3. Victoria Janssen says:

    Sela, ROFL!

    Rowan, that's a good idea to ponder.

  4. Bryn says:

    I can't wait to add "publishing" to the number of things I can do multiple times.

  5. Victoria Janssen says:

    That sounds…kinky, Bryn.

  6. Elise Logan says:

    I agree with Rowan. It's intended to be a signal to people that "Hey! It wasn't just blind, stupid luck!"

    And, to further agree with Rowan, it's still silly.

    Maybe we can do terms like the recording industry. A Gold-book author. A Platinum-book author. Because OBVIOUSLY sales means everything. (or maybe, just maybe, it doesn't matter as much as some people think it does. *gasp*)

  7. Victoria Janssen says:

    or maybe, just maybe, it doesn't matter as much as some people think it does. *gasp*

    Shocking!

  8. Kate Pearce says:

    I like it :) I worked hard for it, :)
    It matters to me personally for the reasons Rowan mentioned, but I don't feel like I have to go around telling everyone LOL

  9. Victoria Janssen says:

    Maybe there should be t-shirts. Or tattoos.

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