Is it just me or does it seem that at least once a year there is a new uproar over something RWA did or did not do? Honestly, I am sick to death of these people. I joined RWA in 1992. I was a brand new writer, learning my craft and unpublished. This, I was told, was an organization who would support me and help me achieve my goal of becoming a published author. All I had to do was send them some money once a year. In return, they sent me a nifty little magazine once a month and they would also let me come to their yearly back-slapping, mutual admiration society convention, assuming I could afford the air fare, the fees, etc. to attend. Local chapters were all over the country but that didn't help me much because there isn't one near where I live. I've heard there are great local chapters that are very inclusive to e-pubbed writers and some who aren't accepting at all.
In the end, all it really allowed me was a feeling that I was never quite good enough. Even when I became published and actually started bringing in some pretty good money, I felt like the bastard child at the family reunion. The one who had to stay in the corner and not say too much. This was because I was e-published rather than "really published" by a big house in New York.
Over the weekend, I read tons of posts on loops and lots of blog posts about the recent kerfuffle with RWA and the RWA President. RWA Powers That Be are up to their old tricks. This is nothing new folks. They've tried for years to distance themselves from e-published writers and it will continue into infinity and beyond. If you're new to RWA, I understand your outrage perfectly. I felt the same way years and years ago. Finally, I just gave up and decided to drop my membership last summer because it was quite obvious to me that I would NEVER be good enough in their eyes. They continually go out of their way to de-value what we do.
They see e-publishing as just not quite good enough despite the fact there is plenty of quality writing and spellbinding stories coming from the e-publishing world and I know for a fact there are lots and lots of bad books to be found in brick and mortar stores. I actually LIKE the fact that I'm paid monthly and don't have to wait for six months or longer for a check.
Issues that have cause outrage over the years are almost too numerous to mention. E-publisher recognition, first sale ribbons, PRO and PAN qualifications. Several years ago they didn't want e-pubbed authors to sell their print books at the literacy booksigning because the covers were deemed too "naughty". BLECH. Oh, and don't forget the RITA and GOLDEN HEART. E-pubbed writers couldn't enter the RITA because, well, it's an e-pubbed book but yet, couldn't enter the GOLDEN HEART because, well, you're a published author despite the fact RWA doesn't really consider you a "legitimate" author. Hmmm. Then they began to set 'number of copies sold' limits for e-publishers yet they raised the numbers yearly to prevent a publisher from being 'recognized'. Each challenge was met but they kept raising the bar.
Bottom line folks. RWA will never treat e-published authors as anything other than a red-headed stepchild. I applaude those who are trying to promote change from within. I've heard that before too. It's been tried many times. Let me say straight off that I hope you are successful but I'm not holding my breath. RWA will never change. They refuse to see e-publishing as a viable option for both writers and readers and frankly, the world is progressing, looking forward, while they continue to preen about how they are 'real authors'.
Okay. Nuff said on that. I wish everyone luck. If a miracle happens and things DO change, I'll be first in line to re-up my membership. If not, no problem. I'll continue writing my ebooks and making money.