Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Emperor Has No Clothes!

The cyclic RWA kerfuffle has resurfaced, this time on Twitter under the #RWAchange hashtag. Electronically published authors have their knickers in a twist again... or, rather, still... because RWA treats them like wannabes rather than the real deal. Nothing new there. A recap of the past iterations will suffice:
  1. Why should I support an organization that doesn't support me?
  2. RWA needs to wake-UP and join the 21st century.
  3. We have to change the organization from the inside.
  4. I only keep my membership because my chapter RAWKS.
And, my standard retort: Why should I CARE about RWA? The readers don't.

Yeah, I'm a member... at least until it expires. I joined, initially, for reason #3. I renewed for reason #4 (Passionate Ink). Last night, I was "this close" to joining ESPAN ('cause grassroots advocacy turns me on) before I came to my senses. My money is better spent elsewhere.

I wish the optimistic inside activists all the luck in the world in their quest. I have no energy for it, though, because I see it as moot. Even if proponents of change are successful in revamping RWA, what then? Is it going to result in a net gain for ebook authors? Kinda doubtful. I mean, does RWA influence sales numbers for the authors it already embraces? Why, then, would a digitally published author believe that RWA acceptance would make any difference whatsoever to her/his career?

The same amount of time and energy directed toward CONSUMERS of our work would have a far greater impact on our bottom lines, methinks.

This is about belonging to a club. That's all. RWA could just as easily stand for "Real Writers Association" (a legend in its own mind) and, as with other exclusive clubs, people will stomp and rant, kiss all forms of ass, pout, and even litigate in order to belong. Never mind that "belonging" doesn't DO much--if anything--to further an author's career.

RWA will teach aspiring authors how to woo an agent, you argue? First of all, if you're epublished, you're not an "aspiring author." You're already the real deal. Secondly, why do you WANT an agent? Epublished authors don't NEED agents. Why pay a middleman unless you're still convinced that to be a "real author" you must be New York published?

This is not intended to poke those authors whose goal is to be New York published. To each their own. No, it's intended to bitch slap those epublished authors who continue to allow RWA to dictate their legitimacy. Enablers! How about we just let our successes speak for themselves? RWA, as well as the traditional publishing industry, can embrace epublishing & POD... or eat its dust.

peace & passion,

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Eva Gale said...

Nooo, you NEED to join ESPAN. Why? Not for you and I but to change it for that the writers that come after us.

Belinda said...

Hmm...I occasionally attend a nice RWA chapter, but don't belong to that chapter or to RWA. Never have. Don't see any real reason to. But maybe someday I will. It might be worth the money to find out firsthand.

You're right, its a club and the time I spent yesterday following the Twitter thread would have been better served writing. I'm a working writer, I don't need a political/social organization to validate me as such. The IRS does a fine job reminding me at the end of the year.

Helen said...

The only writing related organization I belong to that I pay dues for is EPIC. Never been part of RWA, never been to a chapter meeting. As an erotica writer, not a romance writer, I don't know that RWA would do anything for me. As an e-published writer, I do believe I get my monies worth from EPIC because of the information they provide and the networking opportunities. From the sound of it, I'm guessing EPIC is rather different from RWA, but then as I said, I know zip about RWA from first hand experience.