Monday, July 16, 2007

Update on RWA update and Respect

I was one of the brave fools to stand up and ask a question in the general meeting at the national conference. I was terrified--absolutely terrified--and my voice was shaking. I’m not much of a public speaker yet, LOL. If only you knew how far I’d come, you’d be appalled! A number of people thanked me over the week, so it made me feel better. That may have been their only intention, LOL.

The latest on the PAN/PRO mess, if you haven’t heard, is that RWA is going to revisit their wording. The general meeting was silly, because the president kept insisting that her wording was correct, and at the same time insisting that they didn’t mean what the wording meant. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The gist is that Ellora’s Cave and Samhain are cool, because they distribute some of their books in bookstores and you can find their books on Amazon. If the publishing company does not distribute, then you are vanity-published.

Still not correct, but I guess it will make most people happy. I’m still "vanity-published" in their eyes, though, LOL, because my tiny pub does not distribute. It’s pretty ridiculous I ever allowed them the power to tell me whether or not I’m published. The tax man has no qualms about my status, that’s for sure.

The founder and inspiration of RWA, the person whose vision started it all, stood up and spoke to the entire conference. She got a standing ovation, but I still think it went over many people’s heads when she reminded us that the original vision of RWA was to help unpublished writers.

Period.

She didn’t add to it, embellish it, or offer any other reason why RWA was founded.

Now RWA treats unpublished writers like lepers who may not go near a workshop, or a portion of the website, that’s strictly PAN. Or PRO, for that matter.

How very disappointing.

Writing is writing, after all. Do you head over to Buzz, Balls & Hype ever? A blog sponsored by MJ Rose? Gregory Huffstutter, the "Ad-Man," guest blogs. He made a name for himself in the writing community by publishing one of his novels, Camilla Spa, on his site for free.

Another man who’s setting trends and earning respect is Jeremy James. Have you checked out his website? Checked out his "sponsored" but free-to-read (or listen to) book? And his book has just gone up on podiobooks. Well worth a look-see, because it’s not the last you’ll see of him.

After all, the amazing and amazingly successful Seth Godin said that if you give content away for free, you’ll have readers for life. I wouldn’t presume to know how his books are doing or what his income is, but it’s a safe bet his books are doing pretty damn good.

How did I get from the beginning of this essay to the end? Well, we’re all in this book business together. Bookseller, librarian, reader, writer, editor, amateur, professional, whatever. What’s more, we need each other. We damn sure should respect each other, no matter how we choose to make our career. Or even hobby.

3 bonus scribbles:

Susan Helene Gottfried 7/16/2007 05:42:00 PM  

LOVE the new look! How'd I miss it? (Feed reader, that's how)

Anyway, your last paragraph has me cheering. We DO need each other. That's why I'm so busy pimping my reading contests; I want to be known as the writer who puts her money where her mouth is, so to speak, and does her best to shine the spotlight on others.

As for RWA, I still think we all ought to form our own group. One without a no-jeans policy! (is that for real???)

Liz Wolfe 7/16/2007 07:16:00 PM  

Natasha,
You should be really proud of the fact that you stood up and asked a question. I'm sure there were a LOT of women who wanted to and just couldn't bring themselves to do it.
I belonged to RWA for one year. I have found a lot of romance writers to be eager to help others, but unfortunately I didn't find that to be really true of the organization. Anyway, I didn't stay a member because I discovered I cant' write romance to save my life...lol.
Also, I missed where your DH is off to.

Bernita 7/17/2007 08:48:00 AM  

"Vanity" published my round red rosy rostrum!