Yes, over the years we have all read much about this question; the old and accepted rule was when your writing eventually achieved the status of being published... you became an author.
The word "publish," so my Cambridge English Dictionary says is simply to formally make public. If this were the accepted definition, then all journalists or media reporters, writing a short news column for public viewing would be authors. Then again, a writer of several lengthy books, not yet published would simply be a writer.
Ah-ha, but what if you described your occupation as a novelist, as such a person is also a writer, and possibly an author. This could be a way of bypassing the author title, yet still add some upstanding acceptance to our modern snobbish literary world.
I have included the word "novelist" as this term, or description of a written works first used in 1521... Long before a title of writer or author ever used.
I asked a fellow writer, novelist and author what she thought of this interesting matter, what should we call ourselves... after two seconds of deep thought she replied. "I don't know what the reading public prefer to call us; however, I think we should call ourselves fucking idiots, make that poor fucking idiots."
What do you writers and readers think, what should we call ourselves.