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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

RWA, Reviews and More


Don't you just love this picture? It's of the Eilean Donan castle in Scotland and is very calming which is always needed before discussing a controversial topic.

Okay, I really thought that I was done with the RWA thing and then on another loop someone posted that ESPAN, a special interest chapter in RWA for electronic and small press authors, posts a kick-ass expose from one of the best agents in the industry, Deidre Knight. Here’s the link below and I think you all should read it.

http://espan-rwa.com/the-digital-age-and-rwa-a-call-for-change/

What is so very vindicating is the fact she basically says the same thing about the industry as a whole I have over and over again. Since she has a lot of clout, I’m hoping the industry will sit up and notice, especially RWA. So I thought I would Google the whole RWA and epublishing thing. OMG! There are 6300, count them, posts regarding this very thing. And believe me, this is one thing I will really, really get the word out on. RWA…are you listening now?

Here are a few of the more of the most interestng links: (NOTE: I went 10 pages in before I stopped…6300 references are a lot to look through…LOL!)

http://charleneteglia.com/blog/rwa-epublishing-and-money-bring-your-torch-and-pitchforks

http://www.jackiebarbosa.com/2009/06/03/wtf-wednesday-rwa-vs-epublishers-take-one-millionty/

http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/2009/05/rwa-rejects-digital-publishing-workshop.html

http://www.erecsite.com/2009/06/rwa-and-epublishing.html

Now the last link has is a whole list to other blogs and things which looks at what the RWA president, Diane Pershing, said in her last column.

Now you all might think I hate RWA and I have to tell you I don’t. I love RWA. I’ve served on its board, founded chapters and used to go to every conference until my mother got sick. Then my focus had to change and it’s only been in the last four years or so that I’ve come back to the fold so to speak.

What I hate is the shortsightedness of this stance. One of the above blogs directs the focus of the problem by comparing what RWA is doing to the record business who got too big for their britches when they tried to control everything about the recording business including how CDs were produced and sold. Hello…notice there are really no record stores anymore? Except of the collector variety? Most cars have a jack for an iPod and I know I wish mine did because I buy everything off iTunes put it on the iPod and move it around as I need it. And I’m no spring chicken. I have kids over 30 and I wasn’t a baby when I had my oldest either. If I can adapt RWA can too.

Okay…off my soapbox…LOL! Maybe I’ll just get a petition going or something. I’m sure there are RWA members out there who would really want to sign it.

One of the other items I want to talk about is reviews. Most of the reviews now days are done online which makes it easier for all those involved as they are very accessible. At least, in my mind, that’s what it’s all about. I have received lots of reviews over the years from many different places. Some are good and some are not so good as expected. But come on now, almost five years after the release date? To give the reviewer some credit, she did give me a good review and she probably didn’t receive the book until recently. It’s been known to happen but is still a surprise.

Now, my question to all you authors out there, what is the longest time you’ve had to wait for a review? I’ll give anyone their choice of eBooks if they are past the five year mark. Just let me know through blog comments and I'll email you privately offline.

One final bit of news is in the form of some music. All right, all right, I’ll admit, I’m a music slut. I will listen to almost anything and I like something from every genre imaginable except maybe the polka. LOL! Here’s a new group I ran across via another blog, The Divine Madness, and I thought you all might like their music. Someone had used it in a book trailer and the music was just so perfect. Check them out and I think you’ll see what intrigues me so much. Here’s there link:

http://www.myspace.com/thedivinemadness

Remember you must comment to be entered into my drawing for a basket at the end of the month. I plan to put in a lot of goodies including an iPod and all sort of sexy toys. Sorry there isn't a picture but I forgot to take one this week. :-(
Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and see you next time!

Lynn

30 comments:

Zetta Brown said...

Howdy, Lynn!

I know several RWA members have talked for YEARS about how RWA is out of synch at a national level. Why don't members just make a break, form another group that's more inclusive, and perhaps come out stronger than what RWA is now?

From what I understand--granted, I have no proof and I'm not an RWA member--but some of the people making the national decisions are frustrated authors with no published titles to their credit anyway. Yet they are the ones that are sticking to these outdated ideas and claims w/re: electronic publishing and what makes a "legitimate" publisher.

Jason Barret said...

Hi Lynn,
Being an E-published author with Wild Rose Press I was at first disturbed by the direction of the RWA Board, but after reviewing their position in the RWR I can understand their slowness to embrace the new technology. I believe it will take a while but things will come to the middle and each of the publishing industries will be able to co-exist without threatening each other.

Jason
www.jasonbarret.com

Jojo Brown said...

Hi Lynn,
I really don't know much about RWA other than what I have heard through the grapevine, so I won't comment on that. But, I must agree that five years is a crazy amount of time to wait for a review. I thought six months was bad! LOL

Jojo

Lex Valentine said...

HA! I know where you found Lady V and company of The Divine Madness! LOL She's an absolute sweetheart. I love her music and she loves the marketing that goes with it. She's a very smart lady. Glad to know word about their music is getting round via my trailers. :)

Ginger Duran said...

Hi Lynn!

I thought your post was excellent and I think instructive for all RWA members to agitate for change. I believe most lasting change, whether in writing organizations or politics or whatever area is best achieved from the "ground" up--from the people involved. It very seldom happens at the top and trickles down.

I believe the reason most authors keep silent is because they fear stepping on toes, offending someone with "power" over their career.

What e-publishing does, however, is put another tool in the arsenal of the writer and loosens the grip of traditional publishing. Not a bad thing, given the state of the economy and traditional publishing's inefficient business model.

jrobe10689 said...

RWA is like many other big organizations. They are so far away from the day to day that they can not recognize what is going on at the "grass roots". It is my opinion that until they bring in someone new and up on the new things (like books on iphones?) they will forever be behind and will eventually loose their standing with those who matter.
Like someone said about some breaking away and starting a new group, it will probably take something like this to bring it up to date.
Chris R

Lynn Crain said...

Zetta,

Yes, RWA is certainly out of sync. And it's true that some of the positions don't require being published at any level. Unfortunately, the president isn't in that category at all. That person is supposed to be mult-published with a larger world view. And IMHO, that's not what's happening at all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Jason,

I would so agree with you if this were a new thing. BUT this started 10, yes count them, ten years ago when the epublished authors tried to get recognized then. They got the boot and a bunch of them formed EPIC. It wasn't until years later that they even allowed ESPAN to form.

So, IMHO, the trouble is that the wave is becoming a tsunami and they will be wiped from the face of the earth because they couldn't react fast enough.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Jojo,

Yeah, I thought five years was an incredible number myself. At this point though, maybe I just should be glad it was reviewed. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Lex!

I am soooo happy I heard them on your trailers. They are wonderful!

And I'm hoping someday that I can use them in a trailer as well since they seem to embody a lot of the feeling I have in a few of my stories.

You need to tell Winter to get a hold of me offline. Her mailbox is full and I'm thinking of having them do a video for me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Hi Ginger!

Thanks...I'm glad you like it...I try to present what I'm seeing and hearing.

You are absolutely right. Change has to come from within and people just complaining about it will never make something change.

I just think that RWA is missing the boat here. I just get a feeling will move the bar again when the epublishers can meet their demands. I know that a lot of them are starting to offer advances and only time will tell if they are accepted into the fold as a regular publisher or not.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Chris,

Thanks for stopping by.

About ten years ago this whole thing started and a new group was formed. That group is called EPIC and they have their finger on the pulse of the whole epublishing thing. Go check them out at www.epicauthors.org and you'll see what I mean.

Also, RWA allowed a special interest chapter to form about 4-5 years ago called ESPAN, Electronic and Small Press Authors Network, for all the good it did.

No, the changes will absolutely have to come from within this time. I just don't want the tsunami to hit while they're mulling the whole thing over.

Lynn

Pamela K. Kinney said...

I think RWA will get on board eventually. It's the same with bookstores saying oh, POD--we don't get them in, even if returnable. And yet, looks like this machine to print up in stores will happen: http://www.lightningsource.com/ebm.aspx
Like I said they'll have to, to survive with the change in times and economy. Especially when people don't renew memberships.

CJ Parker said...

Hey! I just found your blog. How did I miss this?

I've not been in madness five years yet, so that leaves me out. Just wanted to say, Great blog! I'll be back.

I have to say, it feels great to have someone like Ms. Knight be behind us lowly e-published. Now if RWA would just listen.

Hmm, wonder if Ms. Knight would like to come talk to us at EPICon next year in New Orleans?

Lise said...

Lynn, I wanted to just say "right there with you" on the whole issue of RWA and e-publishing business. I read Deidre Knight's post with a great sense of vindication for I, too, have been pondering and pontificating on the puzzling stance RWA national has taken on this issue. To say they are being exclusionary is being kind. To say that they are discriminating against a large portion of their membership is probably closer to the mark. But what is most disturbing to me is this: What can an organization that is so obviously short-sighted actually offer to their members? If they refuse to acknowledge the avalanche of change that is ongoing vis a vis electronic publishing models, then how can they be worth the money? Where else are they perhaps shorting their membership? Too many members, in my opinion, have, and continue, to get all their information from RWA and to believe everything that is said by RWA. And as this example shows, RWA National can be woefully wrong, short-sighted or just plain prejudiced. And this does a disservice to all of these members who try to succeed in the publishing industry without a complete and unbiased picture of the business. Thanks for this post, and for providing so many excellent sources for gathering intel on the issue.

AP Miller said...

Hi Lynn,

I have been keeping up with this crap from RWA for the past ten years. It won't stop. I gave ten loyal years to my Local Chapter in NJ and ten loyal years to RWA National. When it came to the e-book world I never remained silent and my print colleagues always asked me questions about it. I was appointed the e-book PAN Liason a few months back but because of RWA stance on the e-book world I opted out. I have lost all respect for RWA, I am sick and tired of their constant berating of e-book authors that we are not "REAL AUTHORS" yet we seem to be raking in more money in royalties and our boks are sold in FW, B and N and other online book sellers. The books are sold in Amazon, on Kindle, read on Mobi pockets, sony readers and on the iphone...the problem with RWA is that they refuse to recognize that GOING GREEN is the wave of the future. That more readers are resorting to e-books because THAT'S what they want plus they are also buying the racier sexier kinkier books then some romance authors are putting out these days...If RWA chooses to stay they way they were in the beginning by only representing an organization that basis its sales on ROMANCE, the flora and Fauna years then so be it. I know there is still a dedicated audience for those books, but DON'T verbally bash the e-book industry or its fabulous authors...RWA get your heads out of your asses and get off of your high horses.Your brash decisions and ideas are the reason I left your organization in the first place, and bet with the attitude you have now, you will loose many more...

LORETTA CANTON said...

I'm not a writer but I read all the comment from the groups and I surprise at the problem that you are having with RWA. This the 21 century and they are going to have to accept ebooks and everything that comes with them. Maybe you can meet in the middle.

Amy S. said...

I'm not a writer but I read alot of ebooks. Since I've had my ebook reader, I've read more ebooks than print. I think ebooks are here to stay. They are just so convenient. No shipping, no waiting, no space taken other than on your hard drive or a cd.

deb said...

I don't know much about the publishing side but I know what I like to read and if the writers are not happy they don't write the books and the readers suffer too. It is in the best interest of all to work out the problems before it gets to that point.
Debby Creager
cleo@hbeark.com

Julie Robinson said...

Hey Lynn,
Catching up on emails and saw your post. First, I love that picture too. It looks like the same castle on the cover of Teresa Reasor's Highland Moonlight??

Since I am not published, I can't answer your question about waiting for the reviews. I do admit, however, to being lax in getting back with the author to give her feedback after I've won a book--- though I am working on it!! It's just something I feel I should do. Of course, I was just reading the December 2008 issue of RWA magazine on the Tao of Publishing. Julie Anne Long makes good points about writers tending to base their self-worth on reviews, etc.

I just read Deidre's Knight's artcile! Wow!! Her 3rd to last paragraph has a powerful point about readers faithfully following epubbed authors to print.

Also, I know what you mean about buying songs on ITunes now instead of looking for the CD in a store. Though I don't have an IPod to listen to them, I can listen on my computer and burn them to a disk to listen in my car. And arrange them the way I want to!

Very good post, Lynn. Thanks for all the links.
Julie

Lynn Crain said...

Pam,

I would like to believe that what you are saying will be true. RWA will come around eventually but I'm not sure if a lot of the great members will remain with them during this time.

And IMHO, that's the heart of the problem.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

CJ,

Welcome!

Yes, Deidre Knight is wonderful all around. And I don't see why we can't invite her to EPICon...it would be great fun!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Lise,

I so agree on the exclusionary part and I don't get it either. A large part of RWA is now epublished and in reality, I would believe that they out number the print authors.

RWA must start to change now, or they will NOT be around for the long haul.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

AP,

You sentiments are exactly where a lot of us are now.

Things always change and those who can change with the times are the ones who survive.

I'm not sure about RWA any more just like a lot of it's members.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Loretta,

How true - and I can honestly say, I don't understand it either.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Amy,

Good for you! eBooks are wonderful and I'm glad to know that there are readers out there who appreciate them as much as I do.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Deb,

You have a point. Lots of people, RWA included, are forgetting this is about the reader. Readers will flock to good books and it won't matter if it's print or ebooks as long as they can get a copy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

C.R. Moss said...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RWAchange/

Lynn Crain said...

Julie,

Thanks - I've been to that castle twice and each time there's a lone piper standing near the parking lot piping. It's wonderful and I can't wait to go back. It's on the way to Skye.

The Tao of Publishing was an interesting article. And while I do value reviews, I know they are just someone's opinion and not everyone will have the same one. Thank goodness I don't base my worth on them. I know many people do.

And it's true, I've known a lot of epublished go to NYC print and they all seem to bring their readers with them. It's a good thing as it's one of the selling points when going to NYC.

I have to agree on the music. I have iTunes and an iPod where I download a lot. I make CDs for my car and use the iPod everywhere else. I like it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, C.R.!

Lynn

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