When is a book – a book?
The question has puzzled and bemused me over the years. I hear many writers call their WIP (work-in-progress) a book. Some even say they’ve written four books – though all may be as yet unpublished.
I’m wondering at what point other writers, and also publishers and editors, consider a book to be a book, or refer to it as such. When I started my Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing (God, can it be 14 years ago?) my Writing for Children tutor told us in no uncertain terms that a WIP/current mss is not a book until it’s published. She said that the right to call your work a book comes with the printed copy or referring to it as your ‘book’ once commissioned and not before.
This ideology seems outdated when I hear writers talk today.
So, I’d love to know – when is a book a book to you? Is there a consensus? Does it matter? Please share by leaving your thoughts/opinion in the comments.