RWA: Thursday addendum
More happened Thursday than I listed below.
1. I had an appointment to talk to Raelene at Ellora's Cave, mostly to reassure myself how I'm doing there (apparently, just fine. My sales are good, and she advised me to keep on doing what I'm doing). That was good--I hadn't had the opportunity to talk to Raelene more than a "hi, how are you" before. We had a good long talk.
2. While writing in my room, Bonnie Vanak called me and gave me the news that fellow author Ronda Thompson had died. I was in shock. Ronda was writing at Dorchester when I first started and was one of the authors who befriended me and helped me. I admired her writing, liked her a lot, and am sad and shocked that she passed.
Angry too. She had cancer, which no one caught until a few weeks before her death, when it was far too late. When women don't feel well, people are so apt to blame stress (in the olden days, they called it hysteria). Women experience symptoms of some diseases differently from men. I say when you don't feel well--there's probably something wrong!! We've been societally trained to dismiss women as hypochondriacs or over-stressed--very likely because if women's symptoms are different than men's they are more difficult to diagnose. Just because a doctor doesn't know what's wrong, doesn't mean nothing's wrong! (Another rant, but damn, it's our lives at stake here.)
Anyway, Ronda had given me a very nice quote for The Mad, Bad Duke (it's on the back cover), and she was doing so well with her Wulfs at St. Martin's Press. She hit NY Times in an anthology with Sherrilyn Kenyon, and was looking forward to working on her next series. She had a great sense of humor, and I counted her as a friend.
I could end with the cliche "she will be missed," but I'm too pissed off. There was no reason for her to have gone that quickly and so young.
3. We all heard about the board decisions at the AGM. The big one that has many knickers in a twist is RWA redefining vanity/subsidy press as a press that sells primarily from their own website. Well, most e-publishers sell their e-books primarily off their sites--it's the best place to do it. They might also sell through Fictionwise and other outlets, but mostly straight from the site. I have no idea why that would make something "vanity."
The board did backpedal and say they'd change the wording from "primarily" to "exclusively" but this is still ridiculous. A vanity or subsidy press is one in which the author is made to pay for all or part of the publishing process. Usually you answer ads in magazines that say "Ms. wanted! Get your book published!" You give the "publisher" money (usually thousands of dollars), they print your book, and then do nothing to distribute or sell it. That's up to you.
Publishers like Ellora's Cave and Samhain are NOT vanity! I have eight releases with EC (soon to be ten), and I never paid them a dime. In fact, they send me nice checks every month.
The problem is not so much "can they be RWA-eligible or not." I don't really care. The problem is what the outside world will think when they see that RWA has classified presses like EC and Samhain as vanity. Will people think "Oh, that's just according to RWA's definition to decide whether or not they have to pay to attend the conference."
No. I fear people in the "real world" will think--Ellora's Cave. Hmm. This RWA group defines it as a vanity press. We should steer authors clear. What this redefining has done is make e-presses work that much harder to prove their legitimacy.
Here's a news flash. E-publishing is here to stay (it has been for the last several years). Catch up with this century and get over it.
Wow, more ranting!
Anyway, I think I'm done with Thursday.