Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Re: RWA's recent decision

In 1851 a great women's rights advocate called Sojourner Truth said the following:

...they talk about this thing in the head ... [intellect] ... What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

For too long the debate has been mired in the issue whether epublishing is 'as good as' print publishing. You know what, I'd guess that on average it sure isn't--if you define 'good' as mainly an issue of money. I guess the average ebook by a reputable press earns much less than half the amount of the average book from a reputable print press.

But that isn't the point. Ebook writers are writers, our checks cash the same as anyone else's. Epublishers are real publishers, some good and some bad like in any industry. Back in March I said "I give the RWA their due, but the fears of ebook authors that being "aligned definitionally" may be an experience akin to defenestration is not entirely irrational given RWA's history." And lo, it has come to pass.

By effectively defining epublishers as vanity presses RWA shows clearly that they are not about protecting writers' interests and being fair, they are about attacking the kinds of publishing they deem innately inferior. My response? I mean to keep my little half measure full, so my opinion of RWA can be summarised in one and a half inelegant words.


(There goes the blog's G rating, I guess)


Unknown said...

I usually just go on about my business, and I'm not sure my input would impact anyone, but I'm so disappointed in RWA for these statements. As an association, they're really hurting a lot of good authors who do believe in them. I had a membership for a short time, but statements like the ones quoted here are the biggest reason why I am not now an RWA member. Simply put, it's a damn shame. They’re discouraging for a lot of budding authors out there—not to mention the part where, yes, my money actually spends just like Nora Roberts' does, though, of course, I get a lot less of it.

Lynne Simpson said...

I called HQ today, as a matter of fact, to ask them how one would go about terminating membership and if a refund would be forthcoming. Nobody answered, and the voice mailbox was full. Gee, wonder why? :-)

It's not a matter of needing the money back. I've already written it off. But I find I'm very much interested in keeping THEM from having it.

Jules Jones said...

They've axed Samhain.

veinglory said...

I canlt think of a single epublisher that this hasn't axed. And a good few small print presses.

KMFrontain said...

Yeah, fuck 'em. In the long run, they'll be remembered for being backward rather than forwards, stoppers rather than encouragers, and generally stuck up. Anything or anyone that tries to squish small presses starting out via the internet is not someone I ever want to know.