Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Morning: PRO/PAN & Vanity Publishing

Warning: a little sarcasm ahead.

WOW! I just learned that I am VANITY-PUBLISHED! Wow! I get paid money up front above the RWA threshold (straight up, I don't have to 'earn it out' like standard royalty agreements), I get 40% royalties forever, and I don't pay them a cent. But you know what? RWA, in all their wisdom, has deemed that I and a TON of e-published authors (including the e-pub darling, Ellora's Cave) are VANITY-Published!!

So not only am I not "really" published, but I'm VANITY-published!

Maya Reynolds has the scoop.

That's just something. Many of us make more than New-York published authors, and yet we're considered vanity-published.

I don't believe in leaving an organization if you're unhappy. I believe in staying and using the system to make the organization better. I plead with upset authors to stay, unite, and reverse this alarming trend of RWA.

Which is why I'll stay, why I will NEVER join PAN/PRO (I think it's the most appalling thing I've heard of in any organization, ever), and I will campaign until my dying day to end it.

I will be very sorry to hear the outcry against this latest ruling. I hope too many people don't quit. They're essentially kicking a TON of people out of PAN.

You know, advances aren't the most important thing in the world. They're necessary, in the beginning, but in the end? It's like investments. You want to live off of royalties, not advances, if you want to have a secure living. Getting there is tough without the advances, though, just so you can buy the time to write that much/well. Getting there is nearly impossible if you don't earn out your advance.

With 40% royalty rates, I'd rather be published by an e-pub without an advance than a NY-publisher with a dinky little one to three thousand dollar advance that you don't earn out because of no support, and so you end up without another contract.

It's all a big gamble, isn't it? I mean, I wouldn't complain about a ten thousand or above advance, but to hear people talk, those are rare gifts these days, anyway.

9 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 7/12/2007 11:50:00 AM  

I'm glad you're having fun (well, except for the fire ants...).

Don't worry about those pesky RWA rulings--they'll change them all again next year anyway.

I need a definition of "Vanity Published" from you. I don't think "Vanity Published" sounds very flattering. It sounds like you were published only to stroke your own ego or something and you're not a "real" writer. Please tell me this isn't what they mean by it.

Anyway, I'll comment more, see you around, etc etc etc!

Liz Wolfe 7/12/2007 12:01:00 PM  

It's really sad to hear that RWA is even considering this change to their bylaws. I don't belong since I dont' write romance, but I have a LOT of author friends who belong and they aren't going to be happy with this.

Rhonda Stapleton 7/12/2007 03:06:00 PM  

I'm utterly, utterly flabbergasted and amazed that RWA did this. Unbelievable. Totally stupid. :(

I can't believe they swept all of e-pubbing and small press pubbing into VANITY publishing. How totally ignorant! How totally backwards!!

I'm with you--I'm staying, and I'm going to work hard to make things right.

Candy Minx 7/12/2007 05:44:00 PM  

I love small publishers and alternative "do-it-yourself projects. I don't see anything wrong with a publisher working through digital format...

This is a great post and thanks for letting us know about the situation! I read the link you provided too.

There are some people in the world who charge writers money to publish their books. I don't think it's illegal, but it is not in the best interests of a writer. if a publisher doesn't believe in the work...then they shouldn't publish it...if they do believe in the writer, they shouldn't be taking money from them.

If you are being published and not paying money up front to a publisher...Starlight, then don't worry, you're not being taken advantage of...

If you are being pubished for no cost from your own pocket...and plus making money then you are very lucky and shouldn't worry about what this organization is saying about you and your fellow writers at an e-publishing enterprise. The real issue is to make sure that con artists aren't out there online taking money from artists without protecting their copyrights etc.

Here is the wikipedia page for vanity publishing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanity_press

Lisa Andel 7/12/2007 07:57:00 PM  

Amazing.
I was always under the impression that Vanity publishing consisted of the author paying to having his/her book published. Not the other way around.

Is it just me, or are things getting stranger every day?

Kate S 7/12/2007 10:08:00 PM  

Oh, wow. Somewhere along the line I missed this. (I've been out of touch a while and also missed the change to your new site - great job!)

Now, if that's the way the RWA is going, I guess I'll not be renewing my dues next year. How sad.

Oh, hey! Thanks for putting Masquerade up! You rock. :)

Anders 7/15/2007 04:16:00 AM  

Hey! I was looking at the Amazon.com page for Dirty Martini and happened to see your review. Didn't know you were another JA fan!

As for the RWA: I'm not all that surprised, considering their questionnaire of a little while back asking whether the "romance" genre encapsulated only stories about a man and a woman, or stories about any two people. Considering that polyamorous tales are mostly the domain of e-publishing, it seems they have a bit of a vendetta.

(I know about this, and I'm sf/f all the way. The RWA is making a name for itself throughout all genres.)

avery,  7/16/2007 12:47:00 PM  

I was utterly confused when I came here today. Your site looks amazing. Great job.

As far as the RWA goes, I think it's good you're trying to stick it out and change the system from the inside. I couldn't rouse myself from the apathy when that mess went down with that other one I belonged to.