Health Warnings for Authors with Hazel Edwards

Author, Hazel Edwards, provides some expert, humourous advice for authors in the following extract from her book ‘Authorpreneurship; The Business of Creativity‘  (Keesing Press ASA). Hazel is running her workshop on Authorpreneurship, The Business of Creativity on Sunday 18 October at the ACT Writers Centre. See our website for more details and to book your place.

Health Warnings

1.  Never write ‘too close to home’ or family and friends may be upset, disown or sue.

  1. Keep your author photo within 5 years of your real face and shape.
  1. Murphy’s Lore—the cost of Bank exchange fees to convert from foreign sales may exceed your income from obscure currencies with lots of zeros.
  1. Readers often assume fiction is autobiography, especially the sexual parts.
  1. Ex-lovers consider their love life private.
  1. Use different signatures for autograph and credit cards to avoid being scammed.
  1. A ‘thesis’ does not a book make.
  1. Beware of pirates, of the on-line intellectual property kind. IP can also mean International Piracy.
  1. ‘Prolific’ is a put-down. If you use a pseudonym, remember it.
  1. Back up! Your computer will crash on deadline and the technician will earn more in 15 minutes than your entire royalty period.
  1. Be wary of flattery! What have you written? Anything I might have read? Are you famous? Or—I loved your book. I got it for 10 cents from the Op Shop.
  1. If introduced as a ‘real live author’, consider the alternative.

Despite these warnings, the creative health of most authors is enriched by the imaginative satisfaction of their work. Retirement is not an option.


Hazel Edwards is an Australian author who writes quirky, thought-provoking fiction and fact for adults and children, and has her own e-bookstore for favourite print books which are now e-pubs. She is best known for the There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake series, now translated into Chinese and other media. Hazel is a director of the Australian Society of Authors and a National Reading Ambassador. In 2013, she was awarded an OAM for Literature. Her memoir ‘Not Just a Piece of Cake-Being an Author’ is out in November.

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