Romance Writers of America

Ah, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Whoops. Ran out of ways.

So, the ladies have gathered in Dallas and decided that I am published by vanity publishers. In my best Johnny Carson voice “I did not know that.”

Their new guidelines, which to my eyes seems like a way to keep out small presses, and specifically electronic publishers who go to print, include the following:
“publishers whose primary means of offering books for sale is through a publisher-generated Web site”…and continues “Effective July 15, 2007, in order to officially participate in RWA’s National Conference, a publisher must meet the following criteria: (1) it is not a Subsidy Publisher or Vanity Publisher; (2) it has been releasing romance novels via national distribution for no fewer than three years, with no fewer than two full-length novels or novel-length romance anthologies published in each of three consecutive years; (3) it provides advances of at least $1,000 for all books; and (4) it pays all authors participating in an anthology an advance of at least $500.

By the way, they also misuse the word comprise in another part. But hey, it’s just publishing.

Hmmn. I never paid Samhain or Ellora’s Cave or Loose ID a dime for anything. They never asked. I get regular royalty checks. My books have been in Borders, in fact, I’ve signed a few.

WHAT is RWA getting out of this? Oh, right, keep the riff-raff out. Those folks who publish the icky hot stuff, or the icky homosexual stuff, or the icky stuff that New York publishers are trying to get onto the shelves as fast as humanly possible. Small presses NEED NOT APPLY.

So folks, you can pay your $100 bucks or whatever it is now (I let mine lapse) to get a little pin or sticky or whatever and feel like you’re part of an organization created for the good of writers, or you can do the following:

Buy 12 ebooks. Buy some really nice shoes. Buy an iPod shuffle. Sent the money to the Christian Children’s Fund, and they’ll buy rice to feed a family for a year.

If you’re on the “right” side of this divide, you’ll probably think this and other posts like it are sour grapes. Me? I never cared about them and don’t really now. I never liked professional organizations that don’t truly represent their full constituency, don’t really offer them services that benefit them, and don’t change with the times.

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