Authors research, and then research more. Via interviews, records retrieval, shifting through archives of numerous libraries, photographs, videos, and visiting the sites of the incident(s). There are many secondary interviews (this is when one interview reveals an unlisted source who needs to be interviewed). Authors rely on some media, but not all. The heart of the story is investigating the crime: talking to people. Looking at records. Sometimes the “why” happens. Many times authors gain a fresh perspective no one else knows. It takes a lot of time; years can be spent on one book.
Marketing usually means talk shows, radio interviews, articles, and lending expert advice in lectures, presentations, and guest appearances. Authors know their book is important and valuable so they rarely give away multiple copies or sell them for pennies on Amazon. They take part in discussions on POD, or writing, or building success. They invest a lot of money on editing. They have studied their craft.
Churners rarely leave the keyboard. Wikipedia is their friend. They base their information on Internet sources: webpages, articles, youtube. Information everyone else has found. Sometimes it is information no one else has simply because it is distorted or secondary. Maybe there is an interview.
Marketing usually means inundating Facebook pages with ads. Selling the book for less than, or giving away many free copies. Perhaps there is a book signing here and there. Many times they become their own editors (and readers will call on it). They know their work.
On the chance of sounding snobby (the beauty of blogging. One’s opinion is always free -- and incites admiration to violence) I would much rather be an author than a churner. I read works by an author, but not a churner. What I love most about writing is the investigation. Meeting people with a story to tell. Two of my favorite movie lines are “he is a digger, like me” (Jurassic Park) where the archeologist, looking at a chunk of amber, describes the paleontologist. I love “everyone wants to tell their story” (Erin Brockovitch) when Erin finds a much-needed interview and Ed, the attorney, tells her how to interview (a true incident, by the way). Because these are two mantras authors should live by.
It’s not about the money, or seeing your name on a cover. It is about hard work, letting someone tell their story, teaching us something to better our lives. So, do you like to read works by authors? Or do you like to read works by churners?