In WordPress, an Author is one of the six pre-defined user roles. WordPress comes built-in with six different user roles that each come with different permissions and abilities.
Just as you might suspect, an Author can write and edit their own posts as well as editing their own profile. But an Author can also publish and delete their own posts as well as uploading media files.
The Author user role is much more powerful than the Contributor user role. Therefore, if you’re inviting someone for the first time to produce content for your WordPress site, it’s probably best to start by giving them the Contributor user role. The downside is that they won’t be able to publish their posts, but they also won’t be able to delete their posts after they are published.
Unfortunately, if an Author becomes disgruntled, they may decide to delete all of their published posts. That’s why it’s usually best to only assign the Author user role to someone whom you trust completely.
Depending on your theme, each Author may also get a biography page where they can provide information about themselves as well as a photo or avatar. If your theme doesn’t provide for this, there are plugins that you can use.
Note: WordPress does not come built-in with the ability to edit user roles from the admin area, but you can download plugins that will allow you to do this. For example, you may like the Contributor role but want to upgrade it to allow them to upload media for use in their posts but still not want them to have the ability to delete their own posts after they are published.