While I was off gallivanting in cornfields, a controversy exploded in the online romance community last week. In case you’ve missed it, the online portion of it started with agent/author Deidre Knight’s open letter to RWA (Romance Writers of America), and RWA President Diane Pershing’s response. Today, Dear Author has a helpful guide to further reactions around the Internet.
At issue are RWA’s positions and policies on digital publishing. Currently, the organization does not recognize any e-publisher as a legitimate publisher (for the purposes of presenting at conference, taking pitches, etc.), because they pay on a no- or low-advance/greater-royalty model, instead of giving advances of $1000 or more for each book. This has resulted in a complete absence of digital publishing education at our upcoming conference. RWA’s current policies have also created ambiguity in membership status–members who publish with an e-press or small press are considered “published” in some respects, but not in others, leading to inequities in contest participation, etc.
I love RWA–both National and my local chapter. But I do think the national organization in particular could be doing far more to educate the membership about digital publishing and e-publishers. Today, digital publishing affects every published and aspiring writer of romance–we all need to understand e-rights contract clauses, the Google books settlement, DRM, and more. And I take issue with the president’s repeated assertion that e-publishing is not the venue of the “career-focused” author of romance. I’ve published with an e-press, and it was very much a … Read More »