I have noticed several folks (often those who write many books) list themselves as "Java Author/Trainer/Speaker " vs. being employed for a specific company.
What are the economics of such a career choice ? Does anyone know - this sounds like an appealing lifestyle but is it sustainable ? I have heard that book authors do not make much and the training/speaking business dried up after the bust in 2001.
Why do people write books - if not for the money - is it a resume thing ? Or for a pure vision of being able to communicate value-added concepts to a wide audience
My experience is that the book (Tapestry in Action) gave me legitimacy as a speaker and trainer. I've done a bit of this over the last year, but the point is not the money but the connections. I've made some great connections that have turned into even more visibility and money to pay the bills (not bad for a first year out).
On the NoFluffJustStuff circuit, everyone who talks is an active developer, usually involved with at least one open source project, as well as working for clients.
To your first note ... its easier to list "Java Author / Trainer / Speaker" than it is to list your current client (or even current employer) since that will always be changing. Further, if you are speaking on your own time, then you probably should not list your employer (or they may decide to take your speaking fee!).