Friday, December 5, 2008
Once again there are grumblings among members of Romance Writers of America members. I'm always prepared for it because it happens every year. And every year members who are e-published are dissed in some way by the RWA powers that be. It's getting ridiculous. I finally got really sick of the shoddy treatment and I let my membership lapse after being a member since 1992. That's a long time to be a member of an organization that basically did NOTHING to further my career. Doesn't say much for my common sense does it?
I guess I kept waiting for the organization to say that I was as much of a successful published author as anyone else. Now I realize I don't need them to validate my success.I understand many members have local chapters that are supportive and you have to be an RWA member to belong to the local chapters but that isn't the case with me. I have no local chapter. I WAS allowed to be a member of Passionate Ink, which is an on-line RWA chapter for writers of erotic romance and I liked the group very much. Informative and supportive. Unfortunately, I've had to drop this group because I allowed my RWA membership to lapse. One of their rules to be elegible for PRO and PAN was to have sales of a certain amount for a single book and I found it kind of funny that I actually HIT that number the month after I dropped my membership.
RWA has continually looked for ways to exclude the writers who basically help pay for the things they do throughout the year, including the yearly bash. Every year, new rules and little picky details were instituted that smack of exclusion. I don't know why epubbed authors continue to support them with their money. The latest uproar is over the RITA awards, the romance industries equivalent of an OSCAR. E-pubbed authors now cannot enter the contest unless their book is in print. I could be wrong but I believe a certain number of these books have to be in print, too. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I understand that a big part of the problem is RWA's lack of judges for the contest so only authors with New York houses will be able to enter. Most of us realize that part of the beauty of e-books is they are inexpensive to the buying public and know too, that it costs money to print a large quantity of books. Most publishers do the POD thing because it's simply easier and cheaper to print a book when it's ordered, cutting down on costs of warehouses, etc. Not to mention the books that go unsold and just sit there collecting dust.
RWA did nothing for me. Went to a few conferences and they were fun but definitely not all they are cracked up to be. Seems to me it was more of a 'fan fest' for the NY published authors than anything else. I don't regret giving up my membership. I get plenty of feedback and advice on-line or through my author friends and they don't charge me a dime.
What are your thoughts?